Equine Researchers from Virginia Tech, Texas A&M Named Recipients of EQUUS Foundation Research Fellows

Virginia Tech equine surgery resident Kendra Freeman, DVM, and Texas A&M University post-doctoral research associate Amanda-Jo Joswig, DVM, MPH, received the 2013 EQUUS Foundation Research Fellows for their work to advance veterinary knowledge.

Freeman and Joswig were recognized Dec. 9 during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP’s 59th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Each received a $5,000 fellow to support their endeavors in equine research and a $500 stipend to support their travel to Nashville. Instituted in 2011 and supported in partnership by the AAEP Foundation and The EQUUS Foundation, the $5,000 fellows emphasize the importance of assisting equine researchers in their exploration of horse health care topics.

Freeman’s research evaluates the effect of tendon repair techniques on intrinsic tendon vasculature. The study compares the effects of the three-loop pulley pattern and the six-strand Savage suture patterns for tenorrhaphy on the perfusion intrinsic tendon vasculature of the equine superficial digital flexor tendon. The project will provide valuable information to veterinarians who treat life-threatening tendon lacerations.

Freeman received her DVM from Colorado State University in 2009 and also is pursuing a Masters in Biomedical Veterinary Sciences.

Joswig’s research investigates the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in equine corneal ulcers as well as the safety of allogeneic MSCs used subconjunctivally. The study dually aims to determine whether horses mount an immune reaction to allogeneic MSCs injected subconjunctivally and to characterize corneal epithelial healing times when MSCs are used as a therapeutic. The project has the potential to change the current paradigm for treatment of equine corneal ulcers and provide a novel use of MSCs and a basis for translational applications in other species, including humans.

Joswig earned her DVM and Masters in Public Health from the University of Florida in 2011.

“We appreciate the support of the EQUUS Foundation in helping us continue training the next generation of equine researchers,” said AAEP Foundation Chairman Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, DACVS, DACVSMR.

For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through the AAEP Foundation, please visit the scholarship section of the AAEP Foundation’s website at www.aaepfoundation.org.

The EQUUS Foundation (www.equusfoundation.org), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2002, is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of horses, fostering the horse-human bond, advancing the therapeutic use of horses for those in need 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 allocated more than $2.8 million to support its mission.

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