Grants Support Equine Gene Expression, Wobbler Syndrome Research at UK

James MacLeod, VMD, PhD, John S. and Elizabeth A. Knight chair and professor of veterinary science at the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center and director of UK’s Equine Initiative, was recently awarded two grants totaling more than $1.1 million over three years.
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James MacLeod, VMD, PhD, John S. and Elizabeth A. Knight chair and professor of veterinary science at the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center and director of UK’s Equine Initiative, was recently awarded two grants totaling more than $1.1 million over three years. Three other equine researchers in UK’s College of Agriculture were also collectively awarded more than $500,000.

MacLeod’s grant was awarded by the National Science Foundation in support of his and a team of collaborators’ computational work on the mRNA transcriptome.

“As an equine scientist, it is very gratifying to obtain a large grant from the National Science Foundation for a project with direct relevance to equine health research,” MacLeod said.

According to MacLeod, research that determined the primary DNA base sequence of the horse genome was completed in 2007 and 2008. And while it is a major accomplishment, in many ways it is just the beginning. Distributed within the 2.7 billion bases of DNA that compose the equine genome are approximately 20,000 protein-encoding genes. Understanding the structure of these 20,000 genes, what tissues express which genes, when the genes are expressed and how much they are expressed represent functional parameters studied by many scientists working on equine health and disease

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