trotting race


Horse Genome Project


International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop
The 8th Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop took place near Newmarket, UK from July 22 to 25, 2009...[more]

Writers at the Louisville Courier Journal recently won the 2008 Media Eclipse Award for journalism based on an article about Thoroughbred racing and break-downs. They published a 3 part story, including genetics, track surfaces and medications. In connection with the genetics section they interviewed several members of the Horse Genome Project. See the accompanying links for the full stories on the 2008 Media Eclipse Award and the article itself.

Courier-Journal Web site wins award for horse project
Genetics may hold key to Injury-prone horses
[December 2008]

The first draft of the horse genome sequence was recently completed and deposited...
[JAVMA News, April 2007]

Data on Equine Genome Freely Available to Researchers Worldwide
[NIH News, February 2007]

The first genome map of a horse is complete, providing scientists with new tools for investigating equine disease. [ April 2006]



Map of Participating Investigators in North America New York Michigan Colorado Florida Georgia Kentucky Minnesota Texas California


E. Bailey

Ernie Bailey
Coordinator, Horse Genome Project
Professor, MH Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky

I remember learning about DNA for the first time in college. It was amazing. I wanted to study genetics. But I also wanted to work on horses and that DNA stuff didn’t seem relevant to horses. Thirty years later... we have a whole genome sequence for the horse. Now we’re finding that DNA may solve problems that were not solved with older techniques. It seems DNA is relevant after all!

T. Lear

Teri Lear
Associate Professor, MH Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky

Teri is a lifelong owner of American Saddlebred horses and presently owns a buckskin Saddlebred gelding named Bisquette. Her interests in genetics and horses led her to become one of the few world experts in chromosome analysis of horses. She has been active in comparative genomics and is interested in hereditary and congenital diseases of horses.

J. MacLeod

Jamie MacLeod
Professor, MH Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky

A thoroughbred horse racing and pedigree enthusiast, former hunter/jumper show rider and polo player (poorly), Jamie MacLeod investigates articular cartilage, osteoarthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions in horses using genomics.

B. Ball

Barry Ball
Professor, MH Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky

My current research interests include semen preservation, sperm function and infertility in the stallion. In addition, I am involved in several collaborative research projects including the role of anti-Mullerian hormone in mare and stallion reproduction as well as the function of 5 alpha-reduced progestins in mare reproductive physiology.


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New York

D. Miller

Don Miller
Scientist, Baker Institute, Cornell University

Don is a former Standardbred horse trainer turned scientist. He works with Doug Antczak at the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University, on equine repro-immuno-genetics. Don has made significant contributions in the area of major histocompatibility genetics.

D. Antczak

Doug Antczak
Professor and Director, Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University, NY

Doug is a lifelong horseman and avid polo player. As a scientist he studied the immunology and genetics of the horse. Twilight, one of the horses used for the whole genome sequence, lives on Doug’s research farm (shown in photo). In addition to development of the horse genome, Doug has an active research program funded by the National Institute of Health on the immunology of pregnancy in the mare.

S. Brooks

Samantha Brooks
Assistant Professor, Animal Science, Cornell University, NY

Samantha owns a mare which she trains and shows in combined training and eventing. She has been fascinated with coat color genetics in horses and discovered the molecular basis for sabino and tobiano. More recently she joined the faculty at Cornell and is investigating changes in gene expression associated with laminitis.


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R. Geor

Ray J. Geor
Professor and Chair,Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences,
College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University,
Lansing, MI

Ray Geor's research focuses on endocrine/metabolic and nutritionally-related causes of laminitis. A key objective is the characterization of genotypic and phenotypic differences between susceptible and non-susceptible horses and ponies.


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Stephen Coleman

Stephen Coleman
Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University

Stephen's main research interests center on understanding more of the relationship between an animal's genotype and the phenotype ultimately expressed. His lab, the Equine Breeding and Genetics Laboratory, is currently focused on developing a genetic evaluation program for horses, investigating the molecular basis of genetic selection and improvement, enhancing annotation and gene expression resources, and exploring the development and dynamics of the equine microbiome.


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D. Hurley

David J. Hurley
Associate Professor of Population Health and Large Animal Medicine
Molecular Microbiologist, Food Animal Health and Management Program
University of Georgia, GA

I have been interested in comparative immunology and inflammation for about 20 years. I believe that poorly regulated inflammation responses are part of the problem in many diseases of the horse, including colic, laminitis and infertility. I am also interested in inflammation and its counter-point, wound healing and their role in muscle repair, growth and development. The ability to utilize genetic analysis of cells with respect to the role of "inflammatory and healing" molecules in these processes is critical to the proper diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and proper training programs for horses. I am standing in front of my polarizing fluorimeter (one of my most beloved toys) by the way. It is good for measuring rotational anisotropy of fluorescent molecules and measuring binding rates of conjugate pairs in the msec range.

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D. Bannasch

Danika Bannasch
DVM PhD, University of California-Davis

She got her start in science in mouse genetics working on the piebald locus. Her Laboratory currently works on both dogs and horses to understand the molecular basis of inherited diseases. Danika has owned American Quarter Horses as well as Morgans.


C. Finno

Carrie Finno
DVM PhD, Diplomate ACVIM, Assistant Professor, Veterinary Genetics,
University of California-Davis

Dr. Finno's research is focused on neurologic disease in horses, particularly the genetic and environmental risk factors associated with equine neuroaxonal dystrophy/equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy (NAD/EDM). In conjunction with the equine studies, she is researching the interaction of vitamin E and neural development, using a well-established mouse model. Dr. Finno is also working with Dr. Stephanie Valberg to study the genetics of equine shivers, myofibrillar myopathy and immune-mediated myositis.
Faculty page for C. Finno

D. Bannasch

Michael Mienaltowski
DVM PhD, Assistant Professor, University of California-Davis

Michael Mienaltowski's primary research interests are the development, maturation, and repair of musculoskeletal tissues like articular cartilage and tendon, and how differences in niche affect cells within the environment, especially for bone marrow stromal cells and tendon stem/progenitor cells. He is interested in the physiology of usage and elite performance, and pathophysiology from over-usage and acute and chronic injury. By looking at the physiology of musculoskeletal tissues in all species as it relates to use, environment, or genetics, and as it relates to the genetic manipulation of niche and collagen regulation genes, his research objective is to use equine genomic information to provide musculoskeletal disease solutions in the horse.

R. Bellone

Rebecca Bellone
Visiting Associate Professor, University of California-Davis

Rebecca became interested in the genetics of coat color in horses during an undergraduate course at the University of Florida. This passion for color genetics has allowed her to identify the genetic cause for leopard complex spotting and the associated disorder congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB).

She is currently working on genetic mechanisms behind several additional pigmentation phenotypes as well as several other ocular disorders in horses.

J. Murray and Action Jackson

Jim Murray
Professor, University of California-Davis

Jim Murray is an animal geneticist with wide ranging interests. His work with the horse involves contributing to the generation of genetic maps, markers, and mapping genes of interest.

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G. Cothran

Gus Cothran
Professor, Department of Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University

I have studied horse genetics since 1982. I work in the area of parentage testing and my research interests include genomics, population genetics, conservation of rare breeds and the history of domestication of the horse.

T. Raudsepp

Terje Raudsepp
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University

“I like all sorts of small things like chromosomes, especially Y chromosomes, FISH and donkeys. On the other hand, I like big things too -- whole genome maps and evolution in particular.” Terje is a key member of the Texas A&M horse genetics team studying horse fertility, infectious diseases and developmental bone diseases.


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J. Mickelson

Jim Mickelson
Professor, University of Minnesota

Jim has applied his expertise in muscle physiology and genetics to study horses. He, and colleague, Stephanie Valberg, have identified the genetic basis for several muscle diseases in horses and are pursuing investigations of more. Recently, Jim led the successful consortium grant application to Morris Animal Foundation to support Equine Medical Genetics research.

M. McCue

Molly McCue
Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

Our research group uses the latest molecular genetics and genomics tools to study complex genetic disease, physiological variation and genetic diversity in equine populations. Our goals are to improve equine health through the understanding of complex genetic disease, allowing veterinarians to better predict, diagnose, and treat genetic disease, and to improve human health through the use of the horse as a biomedical model. We are working on a variety of diseases in horses including Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy, Recurrent Exertional Rhabdodyolysis, and melanoma susceptibility. We are also studying equine genetic diversity and the impact of selective breeding practices on equine health and disease susceptibility.

S. Valberg

Stephanie Valberg
Professor and Director of the University of Minnesota
Equine Center.

Dr. Valberg’s research centers on neuromuscular diseases in horses with a special focus on genetic diseases of skeletal muscle and their nutritional management. She is an active horsewomen currently training an Appendix Quarter horse Brooke for 3 Day Eventing.


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