The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has received a $3 million gift to establish a University chair in equine orthopedics. The gift is from Abigail K. Kawananakoa of Hawaii; the chair marks the second in equine programs at Colorado State University this fall.
The Abigail K. Kawananakoa University Chair in Equine Musculoskeletal Integrative Therapies will reside in the Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center. The chair follows the August announcement of a chair in equine reproduction, marking two such $3 million gifts to the College to support equine research and medicine, and the third such chair in the Orthopaedic Research Center.
"This gift supports important research at Colorado State that benefits both horses and humans," said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "The Equine Orthopaedic Research Center is known internationally for its innovative research that addresses orthopedic injuries and osteoarthritis including better methods of early diagnosis and new therapeutic targets. In addition, faculty and staff at the center apply that knowledge to equine athletes and share their discoveries with experts in human orthopedic medicine."
The Orthopaedic Research Center at Colorado State is known worldwide for its research and clinical work to prevent joint problems in equine athletes such as racehorses and cutting horses and for researching ways to heal orthopedic injuries including gene therapy and novel cartilage healing techniques, with some recently expanded work in human athletes.
The gift to Colorado State will likely directly benefit veterinary medicine in Hawaii, Kawananakoa's home state. The University has a strong tuition exchange program arrangement with Hawaii through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The WICHE program allows students from states without veterinary programs to compete for slots at Colorado State University with fees paid by their state of residency. Since the program's inception in 1972, more than 160 students from Hawaii have graduated from Colorado State's veterinary program.
"This chair completes our strategic plan in acquiring scientific support for rehabilitative manipulative therapies for musculoskeletal conditions, an area that is lacking in scientific based evidence for the horse," said Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, Director of the research center. "I have had a long and rewarding relationship with Abigail and we are pleased and honored to house the chair in Miss Kawananakoa's name and look forward to the research discoveries and treatments to equine and human athletes the chair will support."
Kawananakoa has bred and raced multiple champion quarter horses. Her horses have won the two biggest quarter horse races in the U.S.; the All American Futurity with A Classic Dash and the Los Alamitos Million with Evening Snow. Both of these horses had arthroscopic surgery by Dr. McIlwraith.