Dembek Receives EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow

The Ohio State University doctoral candidate Katarzyna Dembek, DVM, MS, DACVIM, received the 2016 EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow for her research into how the dynamics of hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal hormones relate to severity of disease and mortality in newborn foals.

Dr. Dembek was recognized Dec. 5 prior to the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP’s 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla. Instituted in 2011 and supported in partnership by the AAEP Foundation and the EQUUS Foundation, the $5,000 fellow emphasizes the importance of assisting equine researchers in their exploration of horse health care topics. Dr. Dembek also received a $500 stipend to support her travel to Orlando.

Dr. Dembek has made several clinical discoveries, including how an increase in the number of adrenal steroids in septic foals is directly proportional to severity of disease and likelihood of mortality. She also demonstrated foals with adrenal endocrine failure are likely to die within a very short period after admission. In addition, Dr. Dembek helped develop an application called FoalScore, which estimates the probability of sepsis and survival in foals.

Dr. Dembek earned her veterinary degree in 2005 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland. She completed her master’s in veterinary clinical sciences and equine medicine residency in 2012, both at Ohio State University.

“The contributions of veterinary research have been considerable, not just on animal health but also public health,” said EQUUS Foundation Chairwoman Jenny Belknap Kees. “We are pleased to help provide the financial resources to enable continued advancements by sponsoring the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellowship.”

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 EQUUS Foundation (, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2002, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, retraining horses for multiple careers, making equine therapy available to more people and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal.

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 disbursed more than $3.3 million to support its mission. 

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