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Laminitis Research, New Bolton

Surgery Research


New Bolton Center's Surgery faculty are actively engaged in innovative research, including stem cell therapy, bone growth and regeneration, and stimulating the synthesis of cartilage components in the treatment of equine arthritis, positioning New Bolton and Penn Vet as an international leader in the field of equine musculoskeletal research.

In addition, New Bolton Center's Laminitis Research Laboratory, combining the work of Hannah Galantino-Homer, VMD-PhD, and Andrew van Eps, BVSc, PhD, DACVIM, associate professor of Equine Musculoskeletal Research, have  made significant inroads with regards to the cause of laminitis and potential preventatives.


Our Research Initiatives

New Bolton Center's Surgery faculty are actively engaged in groundbreaking research, including stem cell therapy, bone growth and regeneration, and stimulating the synthesis of cartilage components in the treatment of equine arthritis.

  • Galantino-Homer Laminitis Laboratory
    LDD Gross Composite

    Laminitis is a common and debilitating disease that affects the folded and interdigitating tissues, called the lamellae, which connect the hoof wall to the underlying tissues of the horse’s foot. The lamellae normally allow the transfer of the horse's weight from the skeletal elements of the digit to the hoof wall.

    Dr. Galantino-Homer founded the Laminitis Laboratory at New Bolton Center in 2008. The Laminitis Laboratory was formed in part due to the tragic loss of the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, to laminitis in January, 2007.

    Our goal is to employ cell and molecular biology methods to better understand laminitis pathogenesis in order to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this disease.

    Our studies include the investigation of laminitis pathogenesis using protein biochemistry, gene expression, and histological analysis, identification of diagnostic serum biomarkers for laminitis, characterization of the keratin proteins that determine the mechanical properties of the hoof lamellae and the effect of laminitis on keratins and associated cell adhesion proteins, the impact of cell stress pathways on laminitis, characterization of the epidermal stem cell population in the lamellae, and establishing an in vitro culture system for equine hoof epidermal cells to minimize the use of live horses for laminitis research.

    Learn About Our Work

    From the Laminitis Discovery Database (LDD) to ongoing, collaborative research studies, the Galantino-Homer Laminitis Laboratory has focused on this all too common disease for more than two decades. Learn more about our work. Explore what we do.

    Read More About The Galantino-Homer Laminitis Laboratory
  • Ortved Laboratory

    The Ortved Laboratory at New Bolton Center is focused on understanding the pathophysiology of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) and developing gene and cell-based therapies to help regenerate cartilage and prevent the development of PTOA following joint injury.

    Due to the many similarities in joint biomechanics and propensity for PTOA, our lab uses the horse as a large animal model for human joint disease. Our goal is to develop translational regenerative therapies that would benefit both the equine and human patient.

    Lab Mission

    • To improve cartilage repair using stem cell and gene therapy.
    • To limit the long-term effects of joint trauma through gene therapy immunomodulation of the joint.
    • To further elucidate the pathogenesis of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA).

    Dr. Kyla Ortved, New Bolton Center

    Interested in Working With Us?

    We are always seeking highly motivated students and post-doctoral fellows with an interest in:

    • Orthopedic research
    • Joint disease
    • Stem cell therapy
    • Gene therapy
    • Regenerative medicine
    • Cartilage biology

    Contact: Dr. Kyla Ortved at kortved@vet.upenn.edu

    Read More About The Ortved Laboratory
  • Preclinical Service Core - Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory

    CORL surgery, Penn Vet

    In the current medtech landscape, investors, and ultimately payers (insurance companies, hospitals and patients), require medical innovation that provides value – reducing health care costs through better clinical outcomes and/or reduced procedure costs. This means product development decisions need to be thoughtful of 1) the overall cost for developing a product and its ultimate release, as well as, 2) the value it brings.

    Appropriately aligning your product development efforts, including your preclinical testing, can make your team more efficient and ultimately increase the likelihood of a successful product. For over a decade, we have taken time to listen to you and to understand the product development plan, intended market, and the value proposition for your investigational therapy or device. Our objective is to ask the right questions in order to choose a refined preclinical model with high translational fidelity. This approach has delivered answers in the context of the intended clinical indication of your technology. Together, we have successfully moved numerous new therapies to market; and we have failed, but failing at the preclinical stage is a whole lot better than later in clinical trials.

    The Preclinical Service Core at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is focused on non-clinical and clinical (VICH-GL9) translation. Leveraging the multi-disciplinary specialties at Penn Vet, PRS & CORL provide a refined platform of successful translation using experimental and naturally-occurring disease models. We partner with pharmaceutical and medical-device companies, government agencies, and academic institutions to meet a broad range of R&D needs.

    Specialties: Preclinical study design and execution from proof-of-concept to pivotal trials compliant with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Regulations, 21 CFR Part 58 and VICH-GL9. Bioskills training and prototype testing.

    Read More About The Preclinical Service Core - Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory
  • van Eps Laminitis Laboratory

    Over the last decade, the members of the van Eps Laboratory have recognized key differences (and some similarities) in the initial events that lead to the three types of laminitis:

    1. Sepsis-related laminitis (SRL)
    2. Endocrinopathic laminitis (associated with insulin dysregulation/hyperinsulinemia)
    3. Supporting limb laminitis (SLL)

    A focus on these early events is leading to a better understanding of why laminitis occurs in different clinical situations and is helping to identify therapeutic targets.

    Our goal is to identify the key pathophysiological events that lead to different forms of laminitis in order to develop clinically applicable means of preventing this crippling equine disease. 

    Read More About The van Eps Laminitis Laboratory