I graduated from the University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences in 2013, with a BSc in Applied Biology. My final year research project was on the subject of the endocrine causes of equine laminitis – a disease which has always highly intrigued me due to the severity of its affliction upon the animal with which I have such a strong affinity. While my interest in research is long-standing, I decided to take a year out after graduation to gain experience in other fields (notably in the animal welfare sector). This was useful in affirming my desire to partake in research, partly by showing me how very much it was needed. I am now able to fulfil this desire by taking part in research in the area which interests me so very much, and feel extremely privileged to be working on such a fascinating project with such a brilliant team.
MRes in Veterinary Science
School Research Theme:
The utilisation of µ-computed tomography for the investigation equine lamella-associated foot lameness
Summary of Research:
Lamella-associated foot lameness (commonly known as laminitis – a misleading term implying an absolute inflammatory cause) is a highly complex disease which has strong adverse effects on the economy and on the welfare of the multitude of ungulate species which it afflicts. It is particularly deleterious in horses, where it is the most common cause for euthanasia and, despite extensive research effort identifying numerous triggers, remains poorly understood.
The project as a whole aims to explore the disease pathway through the application of Biology, Physics and Mathematics in an unprecedented fashion, with emphasis on the effects of growth and adhesion force imbalances. My own role within the team is the preparation and analysis of high resolution tomograms of equine feet. Utilising specialist imaging software, a number of analytical methods are employed, permitting morphological characterisation as an indication of disease state and, critically, the identification of pathophysiological changes within the vascular and osseous structures. It is proposed that these changes would occur in concurrence with hoof growth alterations and in response to mechanical constraints respectively.
Dr Cyril Rauch
Dr Catrin Rutland
Primary Funding Source:
Weston Award Scholarship (University of Nottingham)
None to Date