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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Belknap's Laminitis Paper Wins Scientific Publishing Award

(University news release)

Dr. James Belknap, associate professor of equine surgery in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded the annual Equine Veterinary Journal Open Award for 2007 for his work as senior author of a paper published in the Equine Veterinary Journal. The Open Award is funded by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Trust and presented to the senior author in recognition of a paper considered by the judges to be of outstanding excellence.

The paper, "Lamellar pro-inflammatory cytokine expression patterns in laminitis at the developmental stage and at the onset of lameness innate vs. adaptive immune response," focused on inflammation of the laminae, which they recognized as present in early forms of laminitis.

"No matter what type of laminitis, inflammation is playing a large role in the developmental process," Dr. Belknap said. "Researchers used to believe that inflammation was not a major component of the disease, and that the disease was mainly caused by a decrease in blood flow."

Dr. Belknap said discovering that inflammation plays a key role in the developmental stages of the disease has caused a paradigm shift in the way the disease is researched worldwide. This opens up new opportunities for discovery of novel treatments for this disease, which commonly results in crippling lameness of affected horses.

"We still have a long way to go to answer the big questions," he explained. "We still must determine which specific pathologic will eventually allow us to formulate an effective therapeutic regimen for this devastating disease."

Dr. Belknap received his veterinary degree from Colorado State University and has worked at Ohio State for four years as a surgeon; he has a special interest in equine podiatry. He grew up in Kentucky on a farm where he developed an early interest in horses.

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This post originally appeared at on September 23, 2008.

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