Cartilage Biology Researcher Awarded AAEP Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow

University of Kentucky doctoral candidate Emma Adam, BVetMed, MRCVS, DACVIM, DACVS, received the 2014 AAEP Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow for her research into articular cartilage repair of degenerative joint disease, the leading cause of lameness and retirement in all breeds and disciplines of equine athletes.

Adam was recognized Dec. 8 during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP’s 60th Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. The $5,000 grant is awarded annually to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research.

Adam’s research seeks to enhance understanding of articular chondrocytes’ exact gene expression in order to recapitulate them experimentally as therapy cells for articular cartilage lesions. Using RNA-sequencing scrutiny of the genes expressed in cartilage at different stages of development, the goal is to obtain new insight and knowledge into what defines a mature, robust articular chondrocyte. Such understanding will advance therapeutic efforts to generate and support fully functional articular cartilage cells during tissue repair.

Adam received her veterinary degree from the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London in 1993. She completed her large animal internal medicine residency at Texas A&M University in 2004 and large animal surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in 2007. Her PhD dissertation research is being conducted at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center under the mentorship of Dr. James MacLeod.

“We are delighted to honor Dr. Adam and thank her for continuing her education and career toward equine research,” said AAEP Foundation Chairman Jeff Berk, VMD. “If our knowledge of horse health is going to continue to advance, we must encourage and financially support more veterinarians to become researchers like Dr. Adam.”

The AAEP Foundation established the Past Presidents’ Research Fellow in 2006. The award is made possible through the monetary contributions of AAEP past presidents. For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through the AAEP Foundation, please visit and select “Scholarships” in the “Apply for Funding” drop-down menu.

The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse. Since its inception, the Foundation has allocated more than $3 million to support its mission.

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