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Developing a Novel Model to Help Researchers Study Laminitis

Equine laminitis (commonly known as founder) is challenging to study because it results from diverse causes, including obesity, exposure to toxins, dietary insufficiencies, endocrine disease and physical injury. In addition, access to tissues for study is severely limited because the affected tissue is encased in the hard capsule of the horse’s hoof. Researchers will work to develop a noninvasive tissue culture model of laminitis that will provide a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of laminitis and wound healing of affected hooves. This more cost-effective model may also accelerate the rate of research and help identify potential new treatments that improve quality of life and ease suffering in horses.

Dr. Lori D. Gutzmann, University of Missouri, Pfizer Animal Health–Morris Animal Foundation Fellowship