Ralston, Sarah L.
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1982
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
Effect of diet on glucose and insulin metabolism in horses, nutritional management of stress induced immune dysfunction in horses.
Horse Management, Equine Nutrition, Research in Animal Science, Agricultural Animal Fitting and Handling.
Memberships and Professional Service
Horse Livestock Committee, American Society of Animal Science, 2004-2007; Animal Care Committee, Animal Science Department, Rutgers University, 2003-present; Board of Directors, Equine Science Society, 2003-present; Advisory Board, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 2000-present; Representative, American Board of Veterinary Specialties, 2000-present; New Jersey Veterinary Medical Education Advisory Committee, 1995-present.
Sarah weighing a horse at Rutgers 1990
Grants, Honors, and Awards
Award for Programmatic Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Rutgers University 2003; Cook College Executive Dean’s Team-Building Award, Rutgers University, 1997; Principal Investigator, New Jersey State Experiment Station, Equine Initiative: "Glucose, insulin and GLP-1 responses to high soluble carbohydrate hay," 2003-2004; Principal Investigator, DES Innovative Education Grant, 2002-2003, Horses 2003.
Academic Interests and Plans
My primary focus is on the effect of diet on glucose and insulin metabolism in young horses as part of the Young Horse Research and Teaching Program I initiated in 1999. I am using metabonomic analysis of Nuclear Magnetic Spectroscopy spectra of blood and saliva in collaboration with Dr. Istvan Pelczer of Princeton University to detect metabolic abnormalities and to identify horses with abnormal glucose metabolism. This research will also hopefully lead to the development of rations that will reduce the risk of developmental orthopedic disease in genetically predisposed foals. Previously my research focused on metabolism and nutrient requirements of geriatric horses, which was in part responsible for the formulation of “senior” feeds for failing old horses. Another on-going research interest is the effect of prolonged transport on immune function in horses and dietary supplements (ie: Vitamin C and E) that might reduce the incidence of infectious diseases in horses transported long distances.