University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food & Environment


Gluck Center > Directory > Gluck Faculty > McDowell, KJ

Photo of Dr. McDowellKaren J. McDowell, MS, PhD

Gluck Equine Research Center
Department of Veterinary Science
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0099

Phone: (859) 218-1104
Fax: (859) 257-8542

Curriculum Vitae
My research area is reproductive biology. The long-term goals of my program are to advance the knowledge of control of the estrous cycle and mechanisms of pregnancy maintenance in mares. With this knowledge, strategies can be developed to better identify problem mares and successfully manage mares whose pregnancies are at risk; pregnancies that, with our current state of knowledge, result in embryonic and fetal loss.

The direct benefits are to increase efficiency and decrease costs of equine breeding programs. I am committed to a systematic, scientific approach, along with assessing equine farm management practices. These approaches mesh basic science and biology with the reality of how animals are handled and managed. The valuable scientific information from this approach serves to decrease the number of matings that occur each year to produce a live foal. The purpose is not necessarily to produce more foals, but to produce the high quality, highly desirable foals more efficiently.

In April, 2001, a staggering increase in equine abortions of unknown cause occurred in central Kentucky and the surrounding area, and is now referred to as Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS). Since that time I have been a part of the research team that provided the first experimental evidence that MRLS was caused by eastern tent caterpillars and conducted controlled experiments to elucidate the mechanism of action of the disease.

Additional information on MRLS.


Maxwell H.Gluck Equine Research Center
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0099

Main Office (859) 257-4757
Fax (859) 257-8542