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CVM PhD candidate Dr. Lauren Hughes receives career development award

  • Dr. Lauren Hughes

    CVM PhD candidate Dr. Lauren Hughes receives career development award

Dr. Lauren Hughes, a PhD candidate at the College of Veterinary Medicine, has received a one-time career development award from Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

The award honors Nancy C. Kelly, who died on Feb. 9.  and helped raise millions of dollars for equine research in her role as vice president of development for Grayson.

Hughes’ career goals include contributing to the equine veterinary profession as a clinician/scientist at an academic institution where she can combine clinical medicine, equine genetic research, and teaching to veterinary and graduate students.

As part of her PhD work, Hughes' research is focused on Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID). PPID is a common disease affecting older horses that has significant welfare impacts ranging from weight loss to reproductive abnormalities to death. The disease is relatively common, affecting an estimated 15 to 30 percent of horses over the age of 15.

PPID treatment is aimed at slowing the progression and managing clinical signs of this disease, but there are many current limitations in proper diagnosis and treatment. The goal of Hughes’ research is to identify a way to screen horses for potential PPID development and intervene at an earlier stage with diagnosis and treatment for better disease control.

Hughes’ research will attempt to identify genes and associated alleles that play a role in the development of PPID using whole genome sequencing and candidate gene analysis.

Hughes is advised by Dr. Molly McCue, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine.

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