EQUUS Foundation in the news

EQUUS Foundation Research Fellowships Awarded at the 2014 AAEP Convention

WESTPORT, CT - December 9, 2014 - The EQUUS Foundation and the American Association of Equine Practioners (AAEP) Foundation joinly established the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellowship program in 2011 to emphasize the importance of equine research, to reward researchers for their contributions, and to meet the increasing need to train future equine veterinary researchers.

2014 Research Fellows
Left to Right: Dr. Jeff Berk, AAEP Foundation Chairman, Elaine Norton, DVM, Dr. Richard Mitchell, DVM,
EQUUS Foundation Board Member, Liara Gonzales, DVM, and Dr. Jeff Blea, AAEP President.

North Carolina State University doctoral candidate Liara Gonzalez, DVM, DACVS, and University of Minnesota doctoral candidate Elaine Norton, DVM, MS, received the 2014 EQUUS Foundation Research Fellows for their work to advance equine veterinary knowledge.

Drs. Gonzalez and Norton were recognized on December 8, 2014 during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP's 60th Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"We sponsor the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellows program to emphasize the importance of equine research, reward researchers for their contributions, and meet the increasing need to train future equine veterinary researchers," said Jenny Belknap Kees, EQUUS Foundation Chairman of the Board.

Recipients receive a $5,000 grant to support their endeavors in equine research and a $500 stipend to support their travel to Salt Lake City.


Liara Gonzalez, DVM, DACVS
North Carolina State University

Dr. Gonzalez's research aims to identify new and effective regenerative medicine therapies for horses diagnosed with intestinal ischemia, a condition that worsens the prognosis for colic cases. With limited available therapeutic options, her study investigates the use of intestinal epithelial stem cells as a possible therapeutic target due to their capacity to regenerate the mucosal epithelial barrier.

Dr. Gonzalez received her DVM from Cornell University in 2006. She completed her large animal surgery residency at North Carolina State in 2010.

Elaine Norton, DVM, MS
University of Minnesota

Dr. Norton's research seeks to identify genetic risk loci and potential candidate genes in horses with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) by phenotyping 100 Welsh Ponies and genotyping them on the new equine 670,000 single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping array. The study has the potential to substantially expand understanding of the genetic and molecular factors that contribute to the pathophysiology of EMS and improve ability to predict disease risk and identify animals that could benefit from management changes or therapeutic intervention.


The EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow is an AAEP member who has graduated from an AVMA-accredited school/college of veterinary medicine and plans to specialize in equine research. The applicant should be a current doctoral student or resident, or have completed their residency or doctorate within two years. The EQUUS Foundation Research Fellows program emphasizes the importance of assisting equine researchers in their exploration of horse health care topics.

The deadline to apply for an EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow is August 1. For additional information, please visit the EQUUS Foundation website at https://equusfoundation.org/research-fellows.php.

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About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse's unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

About The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation: 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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