Drew W. Koch, DVM, MS, DACVS, a Ph.D. candidate and postdoctoral fellow at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, will receive the AAEP Past Presidents’ Research Fellow awarded by The Foundation for the Horse for his investigation into use of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) licensing to advance therapy for osteoarthritis.
The $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research. In addition to the financial reward, Dr. Koch also will receive a $500 stipend to support his travel to the AAEP’s 67th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn., where he will accept his award Dec. 6 prior to the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture.
Dr. Koch intends to use the funds to further expand his laboratory’s study of licensed bone marrow-derived MSCs in order to build a foundation for future research aspirations.
“The intent of my future laboratory is to investigate the intricate molecular mechanisms that contribute to osteoarthritis, with specific focus on the interactions between synovial-derived stem cells, synovial fibroblasts and articular chondrocytes,” said Dr. Koch. “Using this motivation and the knowledge of stem cell biology I gain during my fellowship, I aspire to define and explore alternative sources of MSCs for the treatment of osteoarthritis.”
Dr. Koch graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2016. He completed a rotating internship at Pioneer Equine Hospital in 2017 and a residency in equine surgery at Colorado State University in 2020.
The AAEP Foundation, the forerunner of The Foundation for the Horse, established the Past Presidents’ Research Fellow in 2006. The award is made possible through the monetary contributions of AAEP past presidents.
“The veterinary profession strives to improve equine health and welfare through exceptional scientific research and education,” said Dr. Rick Mitchell, Foundation Advisory Council chairman. “This award continues to be an important way to validate young veterinary graduates entering careers in research which will ultimately benefit horse welfare.”
For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through The Foundation for the Horse, visit https://foundationforthehorse.org.
About The Foundation for the Horse
Established in 1994, The Foundation for the Horse is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the welfare of the horse through Education, Research, and help for Horses at Risk. Governed and stewarded by world-renowned equine veterinarians and equine stakeholders, The Foundation in 2021 awarded over $1 million in scholarships and grants to impact equine health and well-being throughout the U.S. and developing countries. To learn more, visit https://foundationforthehorse.org.
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