Dr Sarah Taylor (BVM&S MSc PhD Cert ES(Orth) DipECVS DipECVSMR MRCVS)

Senior Lecture in Equine Orthopeadics

Background

Sarah graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2001 following which she spent a year in mixed practice in North Wales before returning to the Dick vet to undertake a residency in Equine Surgery. During her residency Sarah completed a Masters degree assessing synovial fluid markers in horses with bone spavin and was also awarded the RCVS Certificate in Equine Orthopaedic Surgery in 2004. Sarah became a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2007. She was award a Horserace Betting Levy Board Research Training Scholarship in 2009 to undertake a PhD investigating the use of mesenchymal stem cells for equine tendon disease at the University of Liverpool under the supervision of Professor Clegg.

On completion of her PhD in 2010 she returned to the Dick Vet for the second time to accept the post of Senior Lecturer in Equine Surgery. Subsequently Sarah spent a sabbatical during 2011 working as a surgeon at the Liphook Equine Hospital, Surrey. Sarah became RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery in 2012. She  was awarded De Facto Diplomate status by the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine in 2019. She has a keen clinical interest in equine sports medicine and surgery, while her research interests continue to focus on fractures in racehorses, osteoarthritis and MRI.

Qualifications

 

Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine & Surgery, University of Edinburgh

Master of Research, University of Edinburgh

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Liverpool

 

Professional Qualifications

Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery

Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (European College of Veterinary Surgeons)

Certificate in Equine Orthopaedics (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons)

Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Responsibilities & affiliations

Equine Orthopaedics

RPS Equine MRI unit

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Areas of interest for supervision

Postdoc Dr Seungmee Lee

Current PhD students supervised

PhD student Melissa Baker

ECVS resident Charlotte Hewitt-Dedman

Imanging resident Claudia van Zadelhoff

Past PhD students supervised

Russell Parker MSc

Eugenio Cillan Garcia MSc

Justine Kane-Smyth MSc

Robyn Graham MSc

Research summary

Advanced imaging of equine fractures

miRNAs and osteoarthritis

miRNAs and SNPs in equine stress fractures

 

Current research interests

Equine advanced imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the distal metacarpus in horses with and without catastrophic fractures. (Funded by Horserace Betting Levy Board) Musculoskeletal injuries in racehorses are common and associated with potential welfare issues. The majority of deaths in a recent study (Allen et al 2017) resulted from injuries to bone (77.8%) . The third metacarpal or metatarsal was the most commonly affected structure. Newer state of the art quantitative MRI techniques have the ability to assess not only the microstructure but also provide pathophysiological information about the function of bone. MRI may offer greater insight and prognostic ability, since three tesla MRI has been able to differentiate between fracture and non-fracture of the proximal femur in non-osteoporotic women. The study of equine cortical bone using MRI is still in its infancy but offers exciting potential to study bone matrix, bone mineral density (BMD) and porosity using MR spectroscopy specifically looking at the spectra of 1H and 31P to provide information on the molecular composition of tissue. MR spectroscopy has become the standard way to measure bone marrow adiposity which has been shown to be related to BMD in women with osteoporosis, with one study showing a greater prevalence of fractures in women that have a lower proportion of unsaturated fat in the vertebral marrow fat. Measurement of bone marrow adiposity using MRS is a novel approach to evaluating the bone-fat relationship. Profiling microRNA for the prediction of orthopaedic disease in the Thoroughbred racehorse (Funded by Horserace Betting Levy Board) Musculoskeletal injuries in racehorses are common, associated with potential welfare issues and are an important source of economic loss within the racing industry. Stress fractures arise from the inability of bone to tolerate repeated mechanical loading at specific, predictable sites. Early detection of non-catastrophic “stress” fractures can allow intervention to prevent their progression to potentially fatal injuries. Current detection methods include: trainer / veterinarian acumen radiography, ultrasonography, and nuclear scintigraphy (NS). NS is a sensitive method to detect bone injury but is relatively expensive, time consuming and requires exposure of staff and the horse to ionising radiation. MicroRNAs are short, non-coding RNAs that are capable of influencing post-transcriptional gene expression. In humans, microRNAs have been suggested as complex signatures for multifactorial bone diseases. The first part of this project will establish the Thoroughbred microRNA profile, which may provide a revolutionary method for prediction of orthopaedic disease, in addition to enhancing knowledge of pathogenesis and possibly even a strategy or target for future therapy. In part two: genetic alterations in DNA (SNPs) will be identified in depth using quantitative genetics. Part four will evaluate associations between the two molecular arms (RNA-seq data and genotyping) and the signalment, racing and training histories and environments from the same horses, in order to further examine the findings from parts one and two. Comparison of SNPs identified in the horse and in elite human athletes and military personnel that suffer from stress fractures, may allow adaption of preventative management regimens between species. MicroRNA biomarkers of equine chronic osteoarthritis of the distal interphalangeal joint (Funded by The Horse Trust) The coffin joint is commonly medicated with corticosteroids to treat synovitis and osteoarthritis of this joint however, there is little research focussed specifically on this joint in the horse. The aim of this research is firstly, to identify a measurable biomarker that can be quantified in equine blood or synovial fluid that can predict the presence of coffin joint osteoarthritis before changes detectable by radiology occur late on in the disease process. Osteoarthritic cases will be selected based on MRI changes with concurrent histological confirmation of cartilage damage of horses subjected to euthanasia for clinical reasons. Samples of blood and joint fluid will be collected from horses with naturally occurring coffin joint osteoarthritis (cases) and horses that show no MRI, gross pathological or histological evidence of coffin joint osteoarthritis (controls). miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that are stable in the joint fluid and blood that can be measured to determine the presence of disease as is currently done for human cancers and under investigation for human osteoarthritis. We will measure the levels of miRNA in osteoarthritic joints compared to a control population to try and determine a serum miRNA signature for osteoarthritis of the coffin joint.

Past research interests

Equine Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis (OA) is estimated to be responsible for up to 60% of equine lameness and as such is an important cause of pain, disability and economic loss within the equine industry. Project 1: Metabolomics as a predictor of metacarp (tarso)phalangeal subchondral bone disease in the Thoroughbred racehorse (Funded by Horserace Betting Levy Board) Over the last 10 years the importance of the supporting subchondral bone beneath the joint surface has been highlighted in the development of fractures and OA in horses, yet we still know little of why certain horses sustain these injuries and other do not. Using advanced imaging (MRI) and state of the art scientific techniques such as metabolomics (measurement of small metabolites in the joint fluid) should help to quantify how the subchondral bone contributes to these conditions with the ultimate aim being early detection and prevention. Collaboration with the University of Liverpool. Project 2: Does the length of time cultured at 37 degrees Celsius affect cytokine or miRNA expression of autologous conditioned serum? Autologous conditioned serum (ACS) refers to a cytokine rich serum harvested after culturing peripheral blood with coated glass beads. ACS provides a practical alternative intra-articular corticosteroids for biological treatment of joint disease. Culture of whole blood with the glass beads to produce ACS may lead to modifications in the transcriptomic profile that result in altered gene expression. Next generation sequencing of equine sera to allow proof of such a relationship would have wide ranging implications for the pathophysiology and treatment of osteoarthritis. Equine Regenerative Medicine Project 3: Generation and biomedical application of equine induced pluripotent stem cells (Funded by the Horse Betting Levy Board, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust, the Pet Plan Charitable Trust and The University of Edinburgh Staff Scholarship scheme)

Current project grants

• HBLB 2019-23 Clinical Scholar funding Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the distal metacarpus in horses with and without catastrophic fractures. £160k
• HBLB 2019-22 PI Major grant Profiling microRNA for the prediction of orthopaedic disease in the Thoroughbred racehorse £276k
• Horse Trust 2019-22 PhD Research training scholarship MicroRNA biomarkers of equine chronic osteoarthritis of the distal interphalangeal joint. £133k
• Horse Trust 2019-22 PhD Research training scholarship Small non-coding RNAs to stratify acute osteoarthritis of the metacarpophalangeal joint in the horse. £133k

Past project grants

• HBLB Clinical Scholar funding 2015 Metabolomics as a predictor of metacarp(tarso)phalangeal subchondral bone disease in the Thoroughbred racehorse £140k
• Fiona and Ian Russell Seed Corn grant 2014 Do platelet or white blood cell numbers affect cytokine or miRNA gene expression of autologous conditioned serum in two different commercially available products? £7k
• Nupsala Do platelet or white blood cell numbers affect cytokine or miRNA gene expression of autologous conditioned serum in two different commercially available products? £2k
• HBLB Scientific Research Grant 2013: Collaborator Exploring new sources of MSCs in horses
£250k
• HBLB Travel grant 2009 The influence of aligned polycaprolactone nanofibre meshes on gene expression and cellular orientation of tendon fibroblasts (2009) ISL&T Congress, Las Vegas, USA. £1k
• Pfizer Travel grant 2008 Co-culture of tendon fibroblasts with mesenchymal stromal cells increases collagen type I expression (2008) BEVA Congress, Liverpool, UK £1k
• HBLB Travel grant 2008 Recapitulating a tendon phenotype RT-PCR markers in vivo comparison to in vitro culture systems (2008) ISL&T Congress, San Francisco, USA. £1k
• Pfizer Travel grant 2007. Application of strain to co-cultures of tendon fibroblasts and mesenchymal stromal cells decreases tenascin-C and collagen type V expression (2008) BSMB, York, UK £1k
• HBLB Travel grant 2007 Recapitulating a tendon phenotype RT-PCR markers in vivo comparison to in vitro culture systems (2008) ISL&T Congress, San Francisco, USA. £1k
• HBLB PhD Research Training Scholarship 2006-2009. Establishing key component of tendon repair in vitro (at this time awarded to the candidate not the establishment) £140k
• Dame Uvarov RCVS Trust Scholarship 2004 £1k
• BEVA Trust Travel Scholarship 2004. . Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein in synovial fluid from horses with a clinical diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints (bone spavin) compared to normal horses. (2005) ECVS Congress, Lyon, France. £1k

View all 24 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker

  • 2020
    • Finding the whole picture. What imaging to do next? SEVA Congress, Edinburgh, UK
    • Is it painful or behavioural? The orthopaedic perspective BEVA Course, Edinburgh, UK
    • Three cases of digital flexor tendon sheath pathology diagnosed with low field MRI. Hallmarq Equine MRI Conference, Chanomix, France.
  • 2019
    • Hind limb proximal suspensory desmitis – practical management and improving outcomes. BEVA Congress, Birmingham, UK
    • Moral maze: Telemedicine friend or foe?. BEVA Congress, Birmingham, UK
    • Lameness workshop, BEVA Congress, Birmingham UK
  • 2018
    • Advances in diagnosis of proximal suspensory ligament desmopathy. BEVA North of England Regional Meeting, UK
    • Is standing MRI of the proximal metatarsus a waste of time and money? BEVA Scottish Regional Meeting, UK
    • Has 15 years of MRI changed our understanding and treatment of equine foot conditions? Vet Trust CPD conference, Sterling, UK
  • 2017
    • The proximal recess of the navicular bursa and adjacent structures. Hallmarq MRI course Chamonix, France
    • Comparison of low and high field MRI of the foot ECVS Pre-Congress Imaging day Edinburgh, UK
    • Treatment of suspensory ligament desmitis a critical review, ECVS Congress Edinburgh, UK 2017
  •  2014
    • Intra-articular therapy: Current and future scientific perspectives. Assoc Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons Newmarket, UK
    • Fetlocks: What advances have been made in diagnostics and therapeutics in the last 10 years? free-pd University of Edinburgh, UK
    • Chair of Equine back pain session Vet Trust CPD conference, Sterling, UK
    • How has MRI improved the diagnosis and management of foot pain? Foot and farriery CPD University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2012
    • Regenerative medicine for equine orthopaedic disease Liphook Equine Hospital referring veterinarians CPD, Surrey, UK
    • DDFT injury; does lesion type, length or location predict return to athletic function? Liphook Equine Hospital referring veterinarians free CPD, Surrey, UK
    • Orthopaedic surgical nursing – overcoming the challenge (2012) BEVA nursing CPD, Liphook Equine Hospital, Surrey, UK
    • Wounds; the nurses role in their management (2012) BEVA nursing CPD, Liphook Equine Hospital, Surrey, UK
  • 2011
    • Online Vet stream academy CPD course; Approach to chronic lameness
    • Online Vet stream academy CPD course; Bandaging techniques.
    • Stifle lameness in the equine athlete  DVEH referring veterinarians free CPD, Edinburgh
    • Practical: Radiographic interpretation of the tarsus, DVEH referring veterinarians free CPD, Edinburgh
    • Regenerative medicine for equine orthopaedic disease Vet Trust CPD, Stirling

Organiser

    • ECVS Edinburgh 2017 local organiser
    • BEVA Birmingham 2019 Scientific programme committee
    • EVDI Edinburgh 2020 local organiser

Papers delivered

 

  1. Taylor SE, van Zadelhoff C, Schwarz TS and Biggi M. (2019) Imaging findings and clinical follow up of horses with insertional deep digital flexor tendinopathy with or without associated enthesiopathy.   EVDI Congress, Basel, Switzerland.
  2. Graham RJ, Anderson JR, Phelan MM, Peffers MJ, Cillan-Garcia E, Taylor SE (2018) Metabolite profiling of synovial fluid as an early predictor for palmar osteochondral disease in the Thoroughbred racehorse ECVS Congress Athens, Greece.
  3. Cillán-Garcia, E., Graham,R.J.T.Y., Stewart, R., Parker,R.A. and Taylor,S.E. (2018) Comparison of long-term outcome following surgical treatment of septic pedal osteitis in horses under standing sedation and general anaesthesia BEVA Congress, Birmingham, UK
  4. VanZadelhoff, C., Schwarz, T., George, L and Taylor, S.E. (2018) Time-dependent signal loss of saline, gadolinium and iodine based MR and CT arthrography of the equine DIP joint. Hallmarq User Meeting, Chamonix, France.
  5. Taylor, S.E (2017) Clinical interpretation of high fluid signal within the distal phalanx. Hallmarq Clinical User meeting Chamonix, France.
  6. Taylor, S.E., Clinton, M., Graham, R., Wyper, K and Cillán-García, E (2016) Cytokine and microRNA changes within equine autologous conditioned serum: Comparison of two commercially available products ECVS Congress Lisbon, Portugal
  7. Kane-Smyth J., Reardon, R., Taylor SE., Cillan Garcia E (2014) Frequency of digital flexor tendon sheath and distal interphalangeal joint penetration when using a direct endoscopic approach to the navicular bursa in horses. ECVS Congress Copenhagen, Denmark.
  8. Meehan L, Taylor SE, Reardon RJ, Cillan Garcia E (2014) Low field magnetic resonance imaging features of chronic foot abscessation. Hallmarq Clinical User meeting Chamonix, France.
  9. Cillán-García E, Milner P, Clegg PD, Boswell J, Taylor SE (2012) Retrospective multicentre study of 160 cases of deep digital flexor tendon injury within the hoof capsule; does lesion type, length or location predict return to athletic activity? ECVS Congress Barcelona
  10. Parker, R.P., Clegg, P.D Taylor, S.E. (2011) The in vitro effects of antibiotics on the gene expression of equine bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells ECVS Congress Ghent, Belgium
  11. Cillán-García E, Hendey F, Taylor SE (2011) Deep digital flexor tendon injury within the hoof capsulepredict return to athletic activity? SICAB Seville.
  12. Taylor, S.E., Bosworth, L., Vaughan-Thomas, A., Downes, S., Smith, R.K.W. and Clegg, P.D. (2009) The influence of aligned polycaprolactone nanofibre meshes on gene expression and cellular orientation of tendon fibroblasts ISL&T Congress, Las Vegas, USA.
  13. Taylor, S.E., Vaughan-Thomas, A., Dudhia, J., Smith, R.K.W. and Clegg, P.D. (2008) Co-culture of tendon fibroblasts with mesenchymal stromal cells increases collagen type I expression BEVA Congress, Liverpool, UK
  14. Taylor, S.E., Vaughan-Thomas, A.,  Smith, R.K.W. and Clegg, P.D. (2008) Application of strain to co-cultures of tendon fibroblasts and mesenchymal stromal cells decreases tenascin-C and collagen type V expression BSMB, York, UK
  15. Taylor, S.E., Smith, R.K.W. and Clegg, P.D. (2008) Recapitulating a tendon phenotype RT-PCR markers in vivo comparison to in vitro culture systems ISL&T Congress, San Francisco, USA.
  16. Taylor, S.E., Vaughan-Thomas, A., Pinchbeck, G., Clegg, P.D. and Smith, R.K.W. (2007) Progressive passage gene expression of equine tenocytes in monolayer culture compared to tissue gene expression BEVA Congress, Edinburgh, UK.
  17. Taylor, S.E., Weaver, M.W., Pitsillides, A., Shaw, D.J. and Smith, R.K.W. (2006)  COMP and HA as a synovial fluid marker in horses with bone spavin BEVA Congress, Birmingham, UK.
  18. Taylor, S.E., Weaver, M.W., Shaw, D.J. and Smith, R.K.W. (2005) Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein in synovial fluid from horses with a clinical diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints (bone spavin) compared to normal horses. ECVS Congress, Lyon, France.
  19. Taylor, S.E., Barakzai, S.Z., and Keen, J.K. (2005) Thoracoscopically guided lung biopsy with a tissue sealing device. BEVA Congress, Harrogate, UK.

BVM&S Year 4

Equine Orthopaedics

BVM&S Year 5

Final Year Rotations

All Years

MSc Equine Science