Work on colic earns fellowship for equine researcher

Emily A. Hellstrom received the $5000 Equus Foundation Veterinary Research Fellow grant at the AAEP Convention in Tennessee.
Dr Emily Hellstrom receives the $5000 Equus Foundation Veterinary Research Fellow grant from Dr Anthony Blikslager, Vice-Chair and Research Subcommittee Chair of The Foundation for the Horse, and Dr Michelle Henry Barton, member of Research Subcommittee of The Foundation for the Horse. © Equus Foundation

A student looking at how postoperative outcomes can be improved for horses undergoing colic surgery has been named this year’s Equus Foundation Veterinary Research Fellow.

Emily A. Hellstrom, a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, received the $5000 grant awarded by The Foundation for the Horse, a charity dedicated to improving the welfare of the horse through education and research. It has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and grants this year to impact equine health and well-being throughout the US and in developing countries.

The $5000 grant is awarded annually to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research. Hellstrom also received a $500 stipend to support her travel to the AAEP’s 67th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, where she accepted the award on December 6.

“Through the culture and study of enteric glia from clinical patients, I hope to gain key information in their role on intestinal epithelial barrier function,” Hellstrom said.

“Their use as a novel therapeutic target in equine medicine could potentially benefit not only postoperative ileus patients, but also those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease or sepsis by maintaining intestinal barrier integrity.”

Hellstrom graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science in 2019. She completed a rotating internship at Equine Medical Center of Ocala in Florida in 2020.

Equus Foundation chairman Jenny Belknap Kees said the health and welfare of America’s horses is core to the mission of the foundation.

“We are honored to partner with The Foundation for the Horse through the Equus Foundation Research Fellowship to support veterinarians who are dedicating their careers to equine research.”

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