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University of Minnesota Ph.D. Candidate is First Recipient of The Foundation for The Horse Research Fellow

Nov 29, 2021

Lauren Hughes, DVM, a Ph.D. candidate at University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, is the inaugural recipient of The Foundation for the Horse Research Fellow for her investigation of the genetics of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) in horses.

The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research. In addition to the financial reward, Dr. Hughes also will receive a $500 stipend to support her travel to the AAEP’s 67th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn., where she will accept her award Dec. 6 prior to the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture.

Dr. Hughes’ research focuses not only on how the genetic component of PPID may attribute to risk of disease but also potential genetic causes for differing pergolide efficacy and the presence of adverse effects in horses undergoing treatment.

“PPID is relatively prevalent disease, affecting 15-30% of horses above the age of 15, making research to improve diagnostic and therapeutic options imperative to the health and longevity of our equine partners,” said Dr. Hughes. “My work will allow for development of genetic testing or additional screening methods to prevent horses from the devastating consequences that can accompany PPID.”

Dr. Hughes graduated cum laude from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She completed a large animal internal medicine residency at University of Minnesota in 2020.

“We are delighted that donors continue to support and understand the need for bright veterinary students to remain engaged in equine research,” said Dr. Rick Mitchell, Foundation Advisory Council chairman. “This now third award will support yet another individual to explore a career in research discovery and innovation, which will ultimately benefit horse welfare.”

About The Foundation for the Horse

Established in 1994, The Foundation for the Horse is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the welfare of the horse through Education, Research, and help for Horses at Risk. Governed and stewarded by world-renowned equine veterinarians and equine stakeholders, The Foundation in 2021 awarded over $1 million in scholarships and grants to impact equine health and well-being throughout the U.S. and developing countries. To learn more, visit https://foundationforthehorse.org.