Colorado State University doctoral candidate Aimee Colbath, VMD, MS, received the 2015 AAEP Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow for her research into the use of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMDMSCs), a promising therapy for musculoskeletal disease in the horse that is widely used but not fully understood.

Dr. Colbath was recognized Dec. 7 during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP’s 61st Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. The $5,000 grant is awarded annually to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research. Dr. Colbath also received a $500 stipend to support her travel to Las Vegas.

Dr. Colbath’s research focuses on the immune properties of BMDMSCs and equine induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). If the immune properties of allogeneic BMDMSCs are equivalent to those of autogenous BMDMSCs, these cells may provide a more readily available, potentially less expensive and more consistent biologic therapy for musculoskeletal disease in the horse. In contrast, if allogeneic cells or iPSCs are found to be immunogeneic, then clinicians should be weary of their use.

Dr. Colbath received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. She completed her equine surgery and lameness residency and her master’s in clinical sciences at Colorado State in 2015.

“We are delighted to honor Dr. Colbath and thank her for continuing her education and career toward equine research,” said AAEP Foundation Chairman Jeff Berk, VMD. “If our knowledge of horse health is going to continue to advance, we must encourage and financially support more veterinarians to become researchers like Dr. Colbath.”

The AAEP Foundation established the Past Presidents’ Research Fellow in 2006. The award is made possible through the monetary contributions of AAEP past presidents. For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through the AAEP Foundation, please visit and select “Scholarships” in the “Apply for Funding” drop-down menu.

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 disbursed more than $3.3 million to support its mission.

Post Type

  • Press Release

Publish Date

December 7, 2015

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