Researchers at two universities will be studying equine pigeon fever (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis) as recipients of the 2012 Advancement of Equine Research Awards, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI).

Proposals by Roberta R. Pollock, PhD, professor of biology at Occidental College, and Allison J. Stewart, BVSc(hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, professor of equine internal medicine at Auburn University, were selected by a panel of equine practitioners and university professors and researchers in veterinary medicine. Each award will provide $25,000 for 12-month research programs at each institution. The research awards were announced during the recent 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Convention in Anaheim, Calif.

"The quality of equine research proposals this year was exceptional," says Steve Grubbs, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM equine professional services, BIVI. "Although this is an academic award, the top priority is to identify projects that ultimately can improve the quality of life for horses and their owners."

Pollock will focus her efforts on combining equine disease infection studies with a mouse model for pigeon fever to identify and clone protective protein antigens from C. pseudotuberculosis. Areas of research will include the pathophysiology of C. pseudotuberculosis and development of an equine challenge model, and comparison of host immunity between infections resulting in internal infection and recurrent infection in recovered horses.

Stewart, assisted by graduate student Marta Barbra Recreo, will look into the transmission of C. pseudotuberc