Fund directs dollars to projects, people
This year, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Townsend Equine Health Research Fund (TEHRF) has targeted just over $100,000 to support three new equine health research projects as well as graduate scholarships and an undergraduate summer research position at the veterinary college.
Three equine health research studies, which involve scientists at the WCVM and their collaborators, received a total of $51,607 in support from TEHRF.
Is Chlamydia psittaci causing equine abortions in Canada?
Drs. Bruce Wobeser and Madison Ricard, WCVM
WCVM researchers are investigating the prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci) in aborted horse placentas. This bacterial pathogen causes psittacosis, a disease that’s transmitted by birds, and leads to reproductive problems and respiratory disease in horses, people and other mammals.
Determining seasonality of baseline plasma ACTH and serum insulin in Saskatchewan horses
Drs. Julia Montgomery, Paula Viviani, Valentina Ragno and Melissa Meachem, WCVM
The WCVM research team are working to establish baseline measurements for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and insulin in normal horses living in Saskatchewan. These specific reference values will help western Canadian veterinarians diagnose horses suffering from equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and/or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) as early as possible.
Exosomes and equine pregnancy
Drs. Claire Card and Dr. Daniel McPhee, WCVM; Dr. Mariana Diel de Amorim, Cornell University; and Dr. Maria Suarez Lopez
Exosomes are key regulators of physiologic, pathologic and immunologic processes in pregnancy, and so far, no one has investigated their role in horses. This research team will be the first to examine and compare the specific protein and lipid content of exosomes from the endometrium and embryo in mares.
Six WCVM graduate students whose research work focuses on equine health issues have received a total of $40,000 in awards toward their tuition costs at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Maria Monar is a Master of Science (MSc) candidate and resident in equine therigenology who is working with Dr. Claire Card, WCVM Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
Dr. Paula Viviani is a MSc candidate and resident in large animal internal medicine whose work is supervised by Dr. Julia Montgomery, WCVM Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
Toni-Anne Saworski is a MSc student who is working with Dr. Emily Jenkins, WCVM Department of Veterinary Microbiology.
Dr. Antonio Guerra is a resident in large animal surgery whose work is supervised by Dr. Keri Thomas, WCVM Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
Dr. Madison Ricard is a MSc candidate of diagnostic anatomic pathology whose supervisor is Dr. Bruce Wobeser, WCVM Department of Veterinary Pathology.
Dr Nicole Van der Vossen is a MSc candidate and resident in large animal medicine whose work is overseen by Dr. Julia Montgomery, WCVM Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
Each year, TEHRF provides $8,900 in funding to support an equine-focused undergraduate summer research position at the WCVM. Jaidyn Burton of Assiniboia, Sask., is a third-year veterinary student at the WCVM who spent this past summer working with Drs. Bruce Wobeser and Madison Ricard on their investigation of Chlamydia-related abortions among western Canadian mares.