Sophie Gretler standing in front of the research posters that she presented at the 2019 AAVPT conference.

2019 ACVCP/AAVPT Research Award presented to equine pharmacology graduate student Sophie Gretler

The American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (AAVPT) recently announced that the 2019 Resident/Graduate Student Research Award was presented to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) master’s degree student Sophie Gretler. The American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology (ACVCP) is a joint sponsor of the award. Gretler is a graduate student in the Pharmacology and Toxicology graduate group, working under the guidance of Dr. Heather Knych at the SVM’s K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory.

The annual award recognizes research excellence in clinical and/or basic pharmacology for residents and graduate students. Gretler earned the honor for her abstract entitled “Characterization of CYP450 mediated metabolism of the polymorphic CYP2D6 probe drug codeine in horses,” which was selected for both a poster and an oral presentation at the 2019 AAVPT conference. Her thesis research examines how horses metabolize codeine and explores the potential of utilizing this drug to relieve equine pain.

Gretler became interested in pursuing her education in pharmacology as a way to transition from her previous work in basic science research toward veterinary research with the intent of pursuing a doctorate in veterinary medicine.

“Pharmacology was the perfect field for me to apply basic biology and physiology concepts to a more clinical application,” said Gretler. “I was naturally drawn to equine pharmacology as I grew up working with and riding horses.”

She is currently participating in veterinary school admission interviews and hopes to continue her research through a dual DVM/PhD program. Her plans include pursuing a career in academic research with a focus on veterinary pharmacology in an effort to develop and improve therapeutics for use in the horse.

 “I am incredibly appreciative of the amazing mentorship I received from Dr. Knych, as well as the expertise and support of the rest of the lab,” said Gretler, reflecting on this award. “It is exceptionally motivating to see that the community recognizes and values research into expanding our knowledge of equine pharmacology. I hope that my current and future efforts in the field will contribute to our increased understanding of drug metabolism in horses and help provide the best patient care possible.”