The University of Kentucky (UK) Gluck Equine Research Center recently welcomed back Allen Page, DVM, PhD, as a scientist and veterinarian. Page completed his doctoral degree in the UK Department of Veterinary Science in 2013.

Page said he decided to come back in April after working for the USDA for more than two years because he enjoyed the collaboration with colleagues he previously worked with during his previous five years at the Gluck Center. He particularly enjoyed the challenge of research that the Gluck Center has to offer.

“I think that as somebody who has been working with horses my whole life, it is something that interests me as of means of helping the horses and owners from a welfare aspect and performance aspect,” he said.

In his multifaceted role at the Gluck Center, Page works as a scientist and veterinarian working with David Horohov, PhD, chair of the Department of Veterinary Science and director of the Gluck Equine Research Center. Page manages the laboratory and is also the department’s clinical veterinarian, a role that has him oversee the veterinary care of the department’s 300 horses. He also has a small appointment working for the university’s attending veterinarian and serves as an alternate member on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, where he will help review protocols and conduct site inspections for research projects.

Before he left UK, Page was involved in a study examining inflammation in racehorses and picked up the research when he returned. He and others in the laboratory are trying to develop an easy-to-run test that will give veterinarians and researchers an idea whether horses could be at risk for injury. The laboratory has also used the test to look at young horses, primarily 2-year-olds in training, to determine how fit they are and if they are responding appropriately to increased training. This is important to the industry because it could potentially help prevent horses from suffering career- and life-ending injuries.

Page recently completed a preliminary collaborative project with researchers from Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), in Harrogate, Tennessee, where they examined the effect of stabling versus pasture management on horses and the effect the management protocols had on lipids or surfactant (the material that lines the alveoli, or air sacs of the lungs) in their lungs. Future collaborative studies with LMU hope to look at the effects of long-term stabling with horses with asthma. This research is important to the industry because barns are typically dusty, dirty, and can exacerbate asthma in those horses.

He is also currently overseeing a pilot study looking at the longevity and the effect of different equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) vaccines on the immune response in horses. Because it can cause abortions in pregnant mares and potentially deadly neurologic deficits all horses, EHV is a disease of interest to many in the equine industry. Page and colleagues are studying the duration of immunity and how long horses’ white cells (immune cells) will appropriately respond after being challenged with EHV-1.

Page has a bachelor’s degree in animal science and veterinary degree from University of California, Davis. He completed a yearlong internship with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, in Lexington, Kentucky, after he graduated from veterinary school. He then came to UK and completed his doctoral degree and postdoctoral studies where his efforts primarily involved work with Lawsonia intracellularis, a bacterial disease of weanling and yearling horses.

Katie Lampert is a marketing and communications intern at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center.

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More information on Gluck Equine Research Center and UK Ag Equine Programs.