Page 60

FAC U LT Y/S TA FF

Spotlight

Dr. Katrin Hinrichs:

by Dr. Megan Palsa and Callie Rainosek

Setting the Standard in Assisted Equine Reproduction

Dr. Hinrichs and students in the reproduction lab. Dr. Katrin Hinrichs, professor and Patsy Link Chair of Mare Reproductive Studies at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), grew up riding horses as a hobby. As an adult, she is internationally recognized for her research in equine reproductive physiology and for overseeing one of the few labs in the world capable of performing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a process that has now become the standard in assisted reproduction in horses. A more complex and precise form of in vitro fertilization (IVF), ICSI is the only process that can efficiently produce a fertilized equine embryo outside of a mare’s body. Hinrichs’ research ultimately led to success and improved efficiency in ICSI, a goal that once seemed unreachable for equine reproduction researchers. In the last year, Hinrichs was named a Texas A&M Regents Professor and awarded the third Simmet Prize in Assisted Reproduction by the International Congress on Animal Reproduction. Her other achievements include producing the first cloned horse in North America, named Paris Texas, as well as other cloned foals to aid in her research on the application of cloning equids. Although she faced a number of challenges throughout her journey, Hinrichs’ work paved the way for the clinical and research application of many forms of assisted reproduction in horses.

60 •

• Winter 2017

The Early Years As a child, Hinrichs was infatuated with horses. When she was nine years old, her mother purchased the family’s first horse. Soon after, Hinrichs got a horse of her own and recalls working with horses ever since. She and her mother kept the horses in a nearby boarding stable until they moved from Orange County to northern California, where they were able to keep their horses in their backyard. “I owned a mixed-breed horse named Tico. When we moved up to northern California, we were right next to El Dorado National Forest,” Hinrichs recalled. “My mother and I used to go out and ride for miles in the forest. It was a great way to grow up.” It was this passion for horses that motivated Hinrichs to become a veterinarian. “I’ve always been a horse fanatic. I always wanted to be a veterinarian growing up,” she said. Hinrichs began her journey to veterinary school as a biochemistry major at the University of California (UC), Davis with an intention of attending veterinary school. Although biochemistry encompassed many of her interests, it did not seem to align with Hinrichs’ true passion. “In my undergraduate studies, I kept telling people, ‘I want to know how muscles work,’” Hinrichs explained. “I started out in biology, switched to zoology and still did not learn about how muscles work. Then, I thought, ‘What I need is biochemistry,’ but that’s not what I needed either.”

CVM Today - Winter 2017  

A semi-annual publication for the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical...

CVM Today - Winter 2017  

A semi-annual publication for the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical...