Rebecca Bishop, DVM, MS, a Ph.D. candidate at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, received the AAEP Past Presidents’ Research Fellow awarded by The Foundation for the Horse for her investigation into gastrointestinal diseases of horses.

The $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually 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. Bishop also received a $500 stipend to support her travel to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) 68th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, where she accepted her award on Nov. 20.

As an equine veterinarian and future veterinary surgeon, Dr. Bishop has an ongoing interest in gastrointestinal diseases of horses, especially causes of acute abdominal pain (colic) and mitigation of postoperative complications in patients recovering from colic surgery. Dr. Bishop’s research aims to quantity differences in peritoneal fluid protein expression between horses with colic attributed to strangulating and non-strangulating intestinal pathology, which is an important first step toward identifying novel candidate biomarkers that may have future diagnostic or prognostic utility.

“My long-term goal is to become a faculty member at a veterinary teaching hospital where I can develop a robust independent research program and contribute to high level patient care as well as teaching,” said Dr. Bishop. “I see clinician scientists as the necessary link between benchtop research and cutting-edge clinical applications, pursuing scientific advancements that are translated to tangible improvements in patient care.

“I plan to be involved in the development of safer and more effective treatment modalities as my career progresses,” she added. “I appreciate the opportunity provided by The Foundation and AAEP’s Past Presidents as I take the first steps towards this goal.”

Dr. Bishop graduated from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2017. She completed a rotating internship in 2018 at Mid Atlantic Equine Medical Center followed by an equine surgery internship in 2019 and equine surgery research internship in 2020—both at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, from which she earned her Master of Science in 2021 and is currently an equine surgery resident and doctoral student.

The AAEP Foundation, the forerunner of The Foundation for the Horse, established the Past Presidents’ Research Fellow in 2006. The award is made possible through the monetary contributions of AAEP past presidents.

“The veterinary profession strives to improve equine health and welfare through innovation, research discovery and education,” said Dr. Anthony Blikslager, Foundation Research Working Group chair. “This award continues to be an important way to validate young veterinary graduates entering careers in research which will ultimately benefit horse welfare.”

For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through The Foundation for the Horse, visit

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. It is governed and stewarded by world-renowned equine veterinarians and equine stakeholders. In 2022, and for the second consecutive year, The Foundation 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

Post Type

  • Press Release

Publish Date

November 20, 2022

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