By Jenny Blandford
University of Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 23, 2012) — The University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Foundation will induct three scientists into the UK Equine Research Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 at Keeneland Race Course.
George Allen, a posthumous inductee formerly of UK’s Gluck Equine Research Center, Eugene Lyons of UK’s Gluck Equine Research Center and Stephanie Valberg of the University of Minnesota were selected for their contributions to equine science and research. Nominated by their peers and colleagues, the three individuals were selected by past Hall of Fame inductees.
“On behalf of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation board, I would like to congratulate this year’s inductees,” said Walter Zent, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors. “We were fortunate to have many excellent nominees who have dedicated their lives to equine research.”
Allen joined the UK Department of Veterinary Science faculty in 1978 and remained there until his death in 2008. Among Allen’s most important accomplishments are a better understanding of the origination and development of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) pathogenesis, his findings about the importance of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in preventing and controlling EHV-1 infection, development of an equine model for neurological disease caused by EHV-1 and the identification of risk factors for the development of this particular syndrome.
“George Allen was a truly dedicated, highly creative and accomplished scientist whose contributions to the field of equine herpes virology were unmatched throughout his highly productive career in equine research,” said Peter Timoney, Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at the Gluck Equine Research Center.
Lyons joined the faculty in the UK Department of Veterinary Science in 1963. In his more than 45-year career, Lyons’ work continues to attract interest in the field of equine helminth infections. He was the first to demonstrate the transmission of helminth parasites in milk of mother seals to their offspring; this observation was later extended to a number of equine helminth infections and altered current thinking on the epidemiology of different endoparasitic diseases of the horse. Lyons is also recognized for the importance of his contributions to the field of acquiredresistance of small roundworm infections in the horse to various anthelmintic drugs.
“This is a great, and I personallyfeel, an undeserved honor for myself alone. It is unfortunate that theother team members, Sharon Tolliver and Sandra Collins, cannot be included as co-awardees,” Lyons said.
Valberg, director of the University of Minnesota’s Equine Center, established the Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory at U of M, which receives muscle biopsy submissions from horses around the world. Valberg has been apioneer in unraveling the mystery of tying up and other muscle disorders inhorses. Through her research, previously unknown muscle disorders were discovered, their genetic basis identified and nutritional strategies developed to minimize muscle pain. Her work in equine myopathies has revolutionized equine practice.
“I am honored to be among such distinguished scientists in the Hall of Fame. My research has been fueled by a passion for horses, by the wisdom of colleagues such as Dr. Jim Mickelson and the hard work of terrific graduate students,” Valberg said.
Equine Research Hall of Fame nominees can be living or deceased, active or retired in the field of equine research. Established in 1990, the Equine Research Hall of Fame honors international scientific community members biennially who have made equine research a key part of their careers, recognizing their work, dedication and achievements in equine research.
Past inductees include: W. R. Allen, Douglas F. Antczak, John T. Bryans, William W. Dimock, Elvis R. Doll, Jr., Harold Drudge, Phillip R. Edwards, Baltus J. Erasmus, Harold E. Garner, Oliver J. Ginther, Harold Hintz, Sir Frederick Hobday, Leo B. Jeffcott, Robert M. Kenney, I.G. Joe Mayhew, Travis C. McGuire, Jr., C. Wayne McIlwraith, Alan J. Nixon, Peter D. Rossdale, Edward L. Squires, Clyde Stormont, Sir Arnold Theiler and Peter J. Timoney.
The Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, on the UK campus, is home to the Equine Research Hall of Fame.