(Edited press release)
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced March 13 that it will fund 17 projects in 2009 and that Dr. Paul Lunn of Colorado State University has been elected to succeed Dr. Larry Bramlage as the chairman of its Research Advisory Committee.
The 17 projects, totaling $874,894, were approved at a recent meeting of the foundation board of directors. They will address a broad spectrum of issues, including improved tracking of injuries to Thoroughbreds in training.
The 2009 research funding brings the foundation’s recent totals to more than $16.3 million to fund 246 projects at three dozen universities since 1983.
Bramlage, a noted orthopedic surgeon, served as chairman of the Research Advisory Committee for 11 years, but stepped down recently because of time constraints involving his surgical obligations and the various industry service initiatives in which he participates. Dr. Bramlage remains a member of the foundation’s board of directors.
Lunn is a professor and the head of the Department of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. Before moving to Colorado in 2003, Dr. Lunn worked as an equine medicine faculty member and teaching hospital director at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lunn has specialized recently in equine immunology and infectious disease and has been a recipient of various Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation grants.
The 32-person Research Advisory Committee carefully evaluates all projects submitted to the foundation and recommends to the board of directors which ones have the greatest potential impact while also representing excellent science.
“There is no way to adequately thank Larry Bramlage for his guidance over the last 11 years,” said foundation chairman Dell Hancock. “Grayson funded 137 widely respected research projects with $10 million under his watch. Drs. Gary Lavin (vice chairman), Johnny Mac Smith (veterinary consultant), and Bramlage have found an excellent replacement in Lunn, who shares their dedication to the horse and to research. He has served on our Research Advisory Committee more than once, and I can think of no better person to succeed Larry.”
Among the 17 funded projects is one on stem cell treatment of suspensory desmitis, which was selected by the board to receive the third annual Elastikon™ Equine Research Award. This award recognizes an annual contribution made by the Consumer Products Division of Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer of Elastikon tape and other equine products.
In addition to funding the 17 research projects, the board also awarded the Storm Cat Career Development Award to Melissa King, a Ph.D. graduate student at Colorado State. King will be working with Dr. Wayne McIlwraith on a study of the role of underwater treadmill exercise in diminishing the development of osteoarthritis.
The $15,000 Storm Cat Career Development Award is underwritten by board member Lucy Young Hamilton, and is named for champion sire Storm Cat, who is pensioned at her family’s Overbrook Farm near Lexington.