UK Graduate Student Spotlight: Emma Adam

Emma Adam

Photo: University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Name: Emma Adam

From: England

Degrees and institute where received:
BSc (Hons), Kings’ College, University of London 1990
BVetMed, MRCVS, Royal Veterinary College, University of London 1993
Dipl. ACVIM, Texas A&M 2004
DIpl. ACVS, University of Pennsylvania 2008

Emma Adam began pursuing her PhD at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center under Jamie MacLeod, VMD, PhD, John S. and Elizabeth A. Knight chair and professor of veterinary science, in 2012. She chose the Gluck Equine Research Center to study the formation and repair of articular cartilage in horses, which is the source of many clinical questions and problems.

Adam’s research looks at cartilage tissues in horses from different developmental stages and compares them to adult articular cartilage and to adult stem cells, with the goal of gaining a better understanding of what makes mature adult cartilage unique at a gene expression level.

“Degenerative joint disease (or osteoarthritis) is the No. 1 cause of retirement from an athletic career for horses,” Adam said. “It is also a huge problem for the human population. Horses make great models to study this disease as well as being our primary treatment population.”

Adam has been interested in cartilage research since her surgery residency, and she hopes to continue with this area of research throughout her career. Ultimately, she hopes the data captured will be able to contribute toward methods to improve horse health and reduce breakdown injuries.

When asked what her most valuable takeaway lesson is from her time at the Gluck Center, Adam said, “Transparency and critical thinking. You must understand what it is you are working on, be scrupulously honest about what you are and are not able to deduce from your data.”

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