Equine Surgeon Cheetham Named First Zweig Research Scientist

The position will fund Cheetham?s research into diagnosing and treating recurrent laryngeal paralysis.

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The Harry M. Zweig Memorial Fund committee has selected equine surgeon Jon Cheetham, VetMB, as the first Zweig Research Scientist, a new position for junior faculty at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine who show promise and productivity in equine research.

Awarded in December 2012, the yearlong position will fund Cheetham’s research into diagnosing and treating recurrent laryngeal paralysis, commonly known as roaring. Horses with this condition have developed weakened airway nerves and muscles and cannot breathe fully during exercise. Unfound and untreated, it can quickly end a horse’s career.

Cornell’s animal hospital is currently using the fruit of Cheetam’s past roaring research to help patients. Some clinics now use the transesophageal ultrasound, a technique Cheetham developed to evaluate the geometry of horse’s airway muscles during rest and exercise. This technique allows clinicians to find roaring in young horses early, giving them a chance to recover.

Now Cheetham has turned his focus to improving the odds for that chance. His current project focuses on reimagining the nerve graft, a technique that takes a healthy nerve from neck muscles and puts it onto a damaged nerve to stimulate neglected muscles and help them recover

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