<P>88 SEPTEMBER 2013 Q-RACING JOURNAL AQHAs commitment to improving horse health through research began at the 1960 AQHA Convention in Amarillo. Following a presentation to members that described several diseases threat- ening the horse industry, the AQHA Equine Research Committee was formed with a $20,000 budget. The first grant, a $10,000 award to Texas A&M University to study equine parasites, ultimately led to todays medications that control parasites in horses. More than a half century later, AQHA and the American Quarter Horse Foundation continue to be dedicated to helping all horses through scientific research, and more than $9 million in research grants has been awarded to colleges and universities, thanks to generous tax-deductible donations from AQHA members and corporate sponsors. A list of current studies funded by the Foundation can be found at www.aqha.com/foundation, along with information on the other programs offered by the Foundation. The Equine Research Coordination Group is a team of researchers and organizations that support equine research by promoting the discovery and sharing of new knowledge, enhancing awareness of the need for targeted research, educating the public, expanding fundraising opportunities and facilitating cooperation among funding agencies. The American Quarter Horse Foundation, American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation and The Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation have provided a searchable database of currently funded equine research projects. These organizations raise private funds to be directed toward the best and most relevant research projects aimed at enhancing the safety, health and soundness of horses of various breeds. Visit www.EquineResearch.net for more information. Among the notable discoveries or advancements achieved through Foundation research funding are: • Immunizations of horses • Validated the diagnosis of equine infectious anemia • Anatomical and functional consequences of tail alterations • Discovery of the cause of hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, development of a specific DNA test for HYPP and recom- mendations for management of horses afflicted with HYPP • Established the feasibility of using DNA markers for routine parentage verification • Use of cloned gene products in diagnosis and vaccination of Potomac Horse Fever • Discovery of the cause of hereditary regional dermal asthenia, also known as hyperelastosis cutis, and development of a DNA test for HERDA • Discovery of the cause of polysaccharide storage myopathy and glycogen branching storage deficiency, development of a diet to manage tying up and creation of a DNA test for both GBED and PSSM If the cause of the tissue breakdown is discovered, researchers will be a step closer to creating a therapy to stop laminitis from progressing to a life-threatening event. Under normal conditions, the hoof works darn well by compensating all imposed forces, and if you change the imposed forces like in supporting limb laminitis, things start to go wrong, Black said. If you change the behavior of the cells within the structure as a result of metabolic changes in the animal or another physiologic event, it all goes haywire. And ‘haywire turns out to have a characteristic molecular pattern in terms of end-stage disease. Researchers are working hard to unravel the mysteries of laminitis. The American Quarter Horse Foundation and its generous donors are making the research possible. Jennifer K. Hancock is a special contributor to the Q-Racing Journal. To comment, write to aqhajrnl@aqha.org The MMPs are likely involved in disassembly of the attachment structures, while signaling pathways control expression of the attachment proteins. We want to address these processes therapeutically. It takes approximately a quarter of a million dollars to train one Ph.D. student for five years. While universities might have laboratory space, they dont have the money to fund the research. Scientists have to find grants and other sources to pay for studies and the people to do the work. The funding is critical, says Samuel Black, a veterinary professor at the University of Massachusetts. Research is expensive, and without support, it just cannot be done. There is no hardwired money in the educational system to support research. All of it is generated by competitive grant writing and federal resources. Universities dont cover the costs of paying students salaries – graduate students or technicians salaries. Black estimated a graduate students stipend, or salary, is approximately $22,000 a year in addition to fringe benefits such as health and employment benefits and approximately $15,000 in renewable expenses and resources to do experiments. So it costs $50,000 per student per year to do Ph.D. research and a quarter million dollars to graduate one, he said. The only federal resource that is devoted to equine research currently is the USDA through NIFA, which is the food and agricultural organization, and we are lucky that they are still funding laminitis research because theres a strong push to have funding largely directed toward food animals. The number of funding agencies supporting horse research and laminitis research in particular is very, very small compared, for example, to the amount of money that is spent to study cancer immunology or cancer molecular biology, he added. Its a drop in the ocean, and yet progress, I think, has been remarkable by the relatively small number of investigators in this field. So much progress is being made that Black and his team have written a grant proposal to study some therapeutic theories, which he estimates will cost approximately $500,000 to complete. We have put in a proposal to the USDA to do a therapeutic test of an agent that may suppress inflammation and the expression of the damaging metalloproteinasas, he said. If that research is funded, the continued in-depth analysis of the pathology will run parallel with the first steps of looking at therapeutic intervention and reversal. But of course, it may not be funded. We have to wait and see. COST OF RESEARCH AMERICAN QUARTERHORSE FOUNDATION</p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/3/3/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/4/4/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/5/5/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/6/6/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/7/7/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/8/8/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/9/9/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/10/10/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/11/11/">Page-11</a></LI> <LI><a 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