March 15, 2016


 17 equine health studies share $1.1M in funding

​Posted March 2, 2016

The Morris Animal Foundation is funding 17 new equine research and training grants totaling $1.1 million. The grants will fund investigators at 15 institutions across the U.S., and one each in Switzerland and New Zealand, supporting 17 university-based studies. Three fellowship training grants will be funded for new researchers.

In scope, the studies funded will cover a diverse set of equine health challenges, including infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and respiratory illnesses. The foundation’s Equine Scientific Advisory Board reviewed all grant applications and selected, on the basis of scientific merit and impact, the studies that had the greatest potential to advance equine veterinary care and wellness, according to a Jan. 19 MAF press release.

Among the grants awarded, topics include the following: 

  • How equine muscle cells regulate calcium movement, and the role calcium plays in equine muscle disease. (Dr. Stephanie J. Valberg, University of Minnesota/Michigan State University)
  • How to improve diagnosis and treatment of equine insect bite sensitivity, one of the most common allergic skin diseases in horses. (Dr. Eliane Marti, University of Berne)
  • Biomechanical forces in different horse gaits as well as genetic risk factors associated with the development of osteochondrosis in Standardbred horses, a breed with a high prevalence of OC lesions. (Dr. Annette M. McCoy, University of Illinois)
  • How the bacterium Burkholderia mallei, which causes glanders, an infectious disease in horses, regulates immune response to persist in infected animals. (Dr. Sophie A. Aschenbroich, University of Georgia)
  • A new treatment strategy against antibiotic-resistant foal pneumonia. (Dr. Steeve Giguère, University of Georgia)

“With the approval of our new set of equine studies, we will continue to improve the health of horses, the treatment tools available for equine veterinarians, and, for horse owners, the hope of having long, healthy lives for their equine companions,” said Dr. Barb Wolfe, chief scientific officer at Morris Animal Foundation.

The next call for large companion animal proposals will be in mid-April with proposals due by July 13. More information is available here.