Richard is Professor of Comparative Neuromuscular Disease at the Royal Veterinary College. He is an RCVS recognised specialist in Equine Internal Medicine and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He directs the Comparative Neuromuscular Disease Laboratory at the RVC. His clinical work mainly involves horses with neurological and neuromuscular problems.
Richard qualified from Cambridge University in 1994. After two years in private equine practice he moved to the USA and completed a residency in equine internal medicine at The Ohio State University and a Master of Science degree in muscle physiology and disease.
He returned to the UK to complete doctoral training in molecular and cellular biology of neuromuscular diseases as a Wellcome Fellow at the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, Imperial College from where he attained his PhD. Richard is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and holds an Honorary position at University College London.
Richard’s research interests include comparative aspects of primary muscle disorders, including exertional rhabdomyolysis, polysaccharide storage myopathy and atypical myopathy in horses, centronuclear myopathy and dystrophin-deficient muscular dystrophy in dogs. His laboratory also has a growing international programme of research into recurrent laryngeal neuropathy in horses ("roaring") and in regulation of muscle protein synthesis in horses. Most research is laboratory-based, using cell and molecular biological techniques.
In addition, with collaborators at the RVC's Structure and Motion laboratory, he has an active research interest in the use of gait analysis for objective assessment of equine ataxia, particularly in cervical vertebral stenosis (Wobbler syndrome) in horses. Richard directs the Comparative Neuromuscular Disease Laboratory, which provides a service for the histopathological assessment of muscle biopsy samples from veterinary clinical cases.
Richard’s teaching interests include the subjects of muscle physiology and exercise physiology particularly comparative aspects between species.
Equine neuromuscular diseases, including exertional rhabdomyolysis (tying up), gait abnormalities, spinal ataxia (Wobbler syndrome), seizures and other neurological and muscular problems of horses.
Naylor R, Livesey L, Schumacher J, Henke N, Massey, C, Brock K, Fernandez-Fuente M, Piercy RJ. Allele copy number and underlying pathology are associated with subclinical severity in equine type 1 polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM1). PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e42317. Epub 2012 Jul 31
Naylor R, Luis Fuentes V., Livesey L. Mobley C, Henke N, Brock K, Fernandez-Fuente M, Piercy RJ. Evaluation of cardiac phenotype in horses with type 1 polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM1). J Vet Intern Med. 2012; Sep 15. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00988
van Galen G, Marcillaud Pitel C, Saegerman C, Patarin F, Amory H, Baily JD, Cassart D, Gerber V, Hahn C, Harris P, Keen JA, Kirschvink N, Lefere L, McGorum B, Muller JM, Picavet MT, Piercy RJ, Roscher K, Serteyn D, Unger L, van der Kolk JH, van Loon G, Verwilghen D, Westermann CM, Votion DM. European outbreaks of atypical myopathy in grazing equids (2006-2009): Spatiotemporal distribution, history and clinical features. Equine Vet J. 2012 Mar 26. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2012.00556.x.
van Galen G, Saegerman C, Marcillaud Pitel C, Patarin F, Amory H, Baily JD, Cassart D, Gerber V, Hahn C, Harris P, Keen JA, Kirschvink N, Lefere L, McGorum B, Muller JM, Picavet MT, Piercy RJ, Roscher K, Serteyn D, Unger L, van der Kolk JH, van Loon G, Verwilghen D, Westermann CM, Votion DM. European outbreaks of atypical myopathy in grazing horses (2006-2009): Determination of indicators for risk and prognostic factors. Equine Vet J. 2012 Mar 13. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2012.00555.x.
Finding E, Fletcher N, Avella C, Naylor RJ, Volk HA, Weller R, Dunkel B, Piercy RJ. Standing CT and clinical progression of equine cholesterol granulomata. Vet Rec. 2012 Mar;170(11):289.
Tulloch LK, Perkins JD, Piercy RJ. Multiple immunofluorescent labelling enables simultaneous identification of all mature fibre types in a single equine skeletal muscle cryosection. Equine Vet J. 2011; 43(4) 500-3
Priestnall SL, Schöniger S, Ivens PA, Eickmann M, Brachthäuser L, Kehr K, Tupper C, Piercy RJ, Menzies-Gow NJ, Herden C. Borna disease virus infection of a horse in Great Britain. Vet Rec. 2011 Apr 9;168 (14):380b
McCue, M.E.,Anderson, S.M., Valberg, S.J., Piercy, R.J. ,Barakzai, S.Z., Binns, M.M., Distl, O., Penedo, S.M., Wagner M.L., JR Mickelson. Estimated prevalence of the Type 1 Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy mutation in selected North American and European breeds. Animal Genetics. 2010 Dec;41 Suppl 2:145-9
Claridge, H.A.H., Parry, A., Piercy, R.J. and Weller, R. The 3D anatomy of the cervical articular process joints in the horse. Equine Vet J. Nov;42(8):726-31.
Perkins JD, Meighan H, Windley Z, Troester S, Piercy RJ, Schumacher J. In vitro effect of ventriculocordectomy before laryngoplasty on abduction of the equine arytenoid cartilage. Vet Surg. 2011 May;40(3):305-10
Perkins, J.D., Raffetto, J., Thompson, C., Weller, R., Piercy, R.J. and Pfau, T. Three-dimensional biomechanics of simulated laryngeal abduction in horses. Am J Vet Res. 2010 Sep;71(9):1003-10
Baker K., Saunders, N., Summers, B.A., Piercy, R.J., K. Smith. Hydranencephaly in a foal – a case report. Equine Vet Educ. 2010; 22 593-598
Naylor, R.J., Priestnall, S.L., Turk, A.C., Summers, B.A. Schöniger, S. and R.J. Piercy. A case of equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy in the UK. Vet Rec. 2010 Sep 4;167(10):380-1.
Isgren, C.M., Upjohn, M.M., Fernandez-Fuente, M., Massey, C., Pollott G., Verheyen, K.L.P., R.J. Piercy. Epidemiology of Exertional Rhabdomyolysis Susceptibility in Standardbred Horses Reveals Associated Risk Factors and Underlying Enhanced Performance. PLoS One. 2010 Jul 14;5(7):e11594.
Naylor RJ, Perkins JD, Allen S, Aldred J, Draper E, Patterson-Kane J, Piercy RJ. Histopathology and computed tomography of age-associated degeneration of the equine temporohyoid joint. Equine Vet J. 2010 Jul;42(5):425-30.
WALMSLEY G, ARECHAVALA-GOMEZA V, FERNANDEZ-FUENTE M, BURKE MM, NAGEL N, HOLDER A, STANLEY R, CHANDLER K, MARKS SL, MUNTONI F, SHELTON GD, PIERCY RJ. A Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene Hot Spot Mutation in Dystrophin-Deficient Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is Amenable to Exon 51 Skipping. PLoS One. PLoS One. 2010 Jan 13;5(1):e8647
IVENS P, PIERCY RJ. ELIASHAR, E.. Inguinal herniation of large colon in a cob gelding four weeks post-castration. Vet Rec. 2009 Sep 26;165(13):380-1
PERKINS JP, SALZ RO, SCHUMACHER J, LIVESEY L, PIERCY RJ, BARAKZAI SZ.. Variability of Resting Endoscopic Grading for Assessment of Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy in Horses. Equine vet. J. 2009; 41, 342-346
Piercy RJ, Walmsley G. Muscular dystrophy in Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Vet Rec. 2009 Jul 11;165(2):62
UNT VE AND PIERCY RJ. Vertebral embryology and equine congenital vertebral anomalies. Equine vet. Educ. 2009; 21, 212-214
STANLEY RL., M E MCCUE, S J VALBERG, J R MICKELSON, I G MAYHEW, C MCGOWAN, C N HAHN, J C PATTERSON-KANE, R J PIERCY. A glycogen synthase 1 mutation associated with equine polysaccharide storage myopathy and exertional rhabdomyolysis occurs in a variety of UK breeds. Equine vet. J. 2009; 41, 597-601
ACKROYD MR, SKORDIS L, KALUARACHCHI M, PRIOR S, GODWIN J, PIERCY RJ, MUNTONI F, BROWN SC. Reduced expression of fukutin related protein (FKRP) in mice results in a model for FKRP related muscular dystrophies. Brain. 2009 Feb;132(Pt 2): 439-51. PubMed ID 19155270
STANLEY, R, MAILE, C, PIERCY RJ. Storage associated artefact in equine muscle biopsy specimens. Equine Veterinary Journal. Volume 41, Number 1, January 2009 , pp. 82-86(5) PubMedID 19301587
M FERNANDEZ-FUENTE, E AMES, M WAGNER, H ZHOU, M STROM, P ZAMMIT, J MICKELSON, F MUNTONI, S BROWN, RJ PIERCY. Assessment of the transformation of equine skin–derived fibroblasts to multinucleated skeletal myotubes following lentiviralinduced expression of equine myogenic differentiation 1. Am J Vet Res 2008;69:1637–1645 PubMedID 19046012
BROWN SC., PIERCY RJ, MUNTONI F, SEWRY C. Investigating the pathology of Emery Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy. Biochem Soc Trans. 2008 Dec;36(Pt 6):1335-8. PubMed 19021551
FERNANDEZ-FUENTE M; TERRACCIANO CMN; PIERCY RJ. (2008). Dose-dependent effect of caffeine on intracellular calcium concentration of cultured skeletal myotubes derived from equine skin. J Vet Intern Med. 22:753-754.
PIERCY, R. J., ZHOU, H., FENG, L., POMBO, A., MUNTONI, F. & BROWN, S. C. (2007) Desmin immunolocalisation in autosomal dominant Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. Neuromuscul Disord 17, 297-305. PubMed ID 17329105
DRANCHAK, P. K., LEIPER, F. C., VALBERG, S. J., PIERCY, R. J., CARLING, D., MCCUE, M. E. & MICKELSON, J. R. (2007) Biochemical and genetic evaluation of the role of AMP-activated protein kinase in polysaccharide storage myopathy in Quarter Horses. Am J Vet Res 68, 1079-1084. PubMed ID 17916014
JOSE-CUNILLERAS E; PIERCY RJ. (2007). Advanced diagnostic imaging options in horses with neurological disease that localises to the head. Equine Vet Educ. 19:179-181.
STANLEY R; PIERCY RJ. (2007). Breed susceptibility in equine polysaccharide storage myopathy. Equine Vet Educ. 19:143-145.
MUNTONI, F., BONNE, G., GOLDFARB, L. G., MERCURI, E., PIERCY, R. J., BURKE, M., YAOU, R. B., RICHARD, P., RECAN, D., SHATUNOV, A., SEWRY, C. A. & BROWN, S. C. (2006) Disease severity in dominant Emery Dreifuss is increased by mutations in both emerin and desmin proteins. Brain 129, 1260-1268. PubMed ID 16585054
SCHWARZ B; PIERCY RJ. (2006). Cerebrospinal fluid collection and its analysis in equine neurological disease. Equine Vet Educ. 18:243-248.
MERCURI, E., BROWN, S. C., NIHOYANNOPOULOS, P., POULTON, J., KINALI, M., RICHARD, P., PIERCY, R. J., MESSINA, S., SEWRY, C., BURKE, M. M., MCKENNA, W., BONNE, G. & MUNTONI, F. (2005) Extreme variability of skeletal and cardiac muscle involvement in patients with mutations in exon 11 of the lamin A/C gene. Muscle Nerve 31, 602-609. PubMed ID 15770669
LEE, J. A., HINCHCLIFF, K. W., PIERCY, R. J., SCHMIDT, K. E. & NELSON, S., JR. (2004) Effects of racing and nontraining on plasma thyroid hormone concentrations in sled dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224, 226-231. PubMed ID 14736066
PIERCY RJ; POMBO A; STEWART CL; MUNTONI F; BROWN SC. (2003). Does an association of nuclear replication and transcription sites with the nuclear matrix underlie the pathogenesis of the laminopathies? Neuromuscular Discord. 13:658-658.
PIERCY, R. J., HINCHCLIFF, K. W. & REED, S. M. (2002) Folate deficiency during treatment with orally administered folic acid, sulphadiazine and pyrimethamine in a horse with suspected equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Equine Vet J 34, 311-316. PubMed ID 12108754
PIERCY, R. J., HINCHCLIFF, K. W., MORLEY, P. S., DISILVESTRO, R. A., REINHART, G. A., NELSON, S. L., SCHMIDT, K. E. & MORRIE CRAIG, A. (2001) Association between vitamin E and enhanced athletic performance in sled dogs. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33, 826-833. PubMed ID 11323556
PIERCY, R. J., HINCHCLIFF, K. W., MORLEY, P. S., DISILVESTRO, R. A., REINHART, G. A., NELSON, S. L., JR., SCHMIDT, K. E. & CRAIG, A. M. (2001) Vitamin E and exertional rhabdomyolysis during endurance sled dog racing. Neuromuscul Disord 11, 278-286. PubMed ID 11297943
PIERCY, R. J., HINCHCLIFF, K. W., DISILVESTRO, R. A., REINHART, G. A., BASKIN, C. R., HAYEK, M. G., BURR, J. R. & SWENSON, R. A. (2000) Effect of dietary supplements containing antioxidants on attenuation of muscle damage in exercising sled dogs. Am J Vet Res 61, 1438-1445. PubMed ID 11108194
PIERCY, R. J., SWARDSON, C. J. & HINCHCLIFF, K. W. (1998) Erythroid hypoplasia and anemia following administration of recombinant human erythropoietin to two horses. J Am Vet Med Assoc 212, 244-247. PubMed ID 9448829
LA PERLE, K. M., PIERCY, R. J., LONG, J. F. & BLOMME, E. A. (1998) Multisystemic, eosinophilic, epitheliotropic disease with intestinal lymphosarcoma in a horse. Vet Pathol 35, 144-146. PubMed ID 9539369