2021 Al Khamsa Spring Gathering Speakers
Dr. Samantha Brooks
Genomics of the Arabian Horse: History Written in the DNA
Samantha Brooks, PhD
Associate Professor, Equine Physiology
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
A lifelong horse woman, Dr. Samantha Brooks was diverted from vet school by a budding passion for equine research. Following a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr. Brooks remained at the University of Kentucky to study at the Gluck Equine Research Center. While there she earned her PhD in Veterinary Science, specializing in Equine Genetics under the mentorship of Dr. Ernest Bailey, a founding member of the Horse Genome Project. Following her PhD she was awarded the Paul Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the expression of inflammatory genes in horses affected with laminits. As an assistant professor at Cornell University she was responsible for the Equine Biology and Management course for six years. Now at the University of Florida, her research program explores a variety of topics relevant to horse health ranging from gene expression studies to mapping of genetc disorders in the horse. Her lab’s research focuses on the use of genomic tools to study the traits of health, conformation, and performance. Ongoing work targets variation in gait, susceptability to infectious disease, metabolic syndrome and skeletal defects.
In 2008, the Arabian Horse Foundation partnered with Dr. Brooks to revitalize research on Lavender Foal Syndrome; an effort that resulted in the development of a direct DNA test for LFS, which became commercially available in the US in 2010. The Arabian Horse Foundation has partnered with Dr. Brooks on projects studying Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy and Equine Metabolic Syndrome.
Beth Minnich (moderating Q & A with Dr. Brooks)
Beth Minnich is Chair of the Research Advisory Panel of the Arabian Horse Foundation and serves as a member of the AHA Equine Stress, Research and Education Commitee. She also served as Chair of the AHA Presidential Task Force on Genetic Disorders. Beth is a graduate of the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program and has worked as an AHRA (Registry) Field Rep, and staff member at Imperial Egyp;an Stud and Valour Arabians. She is also proudly owned by the Davenport gelding, Pal-Ara Khalomi.
Dr. Elaine Carnevale
Preserving Genetics From the Older Mare: Challenges and Potential Solutions
Elaine Carnevale, DVM, MS, PhD
Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Equine Reproduction Laboratory
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Dr. Carnevale received her DVM from Colorado State University, prior to obtaining a MS (CSU) and PhD (University of Wisconsin) during which her research focused on reproductive technologies and reproductive aging in the mare. Dr. Carnevale worked on broodmare farms and private practice before going to CSU’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory in 1998. She started an Assisted Reproduction Technologies at the Equine Reproduction Laboratory, taught veterinary students, and conducted research. Dr. Carnevale’s teams have produced the first commercial foals after oocyte transfer, ICSI, harvested ovaries, and a novel embryo vitrification protocol. Her research group is currently focusing on maternal factors that influence oocyte quality, such as aging and metabolic issues.