Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Belinda is a post doctoral fellow working in the field of equine reproduction with a focus on early pregnancy loss in thoroughbreds. Her work is funded by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association and administered by the Horserace Betting Levy Board. 

Belinda graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2006. Her research interests began at university and led her to complete an intercalated research degree in Veterinary Conservation Medicine at Liverpool University in 2003.  She also pursued her interests in thoroughbred racing and reproduction, completing externships at Belmont Equine Hospital and Rhinebeck Equine Hospital in New York, Valley Equine Hospital in Lambourn and Ascot Veterinary Hospital in Perth.  Following graduation, Belinda developed her skills in thoroughbred racing and stud medicine practices, working both in South Africa and the UK where she also worked as a veterinary surgeon at Lingfield Racecourse.  After having consolidated her clinical skills, Belinda spent six months working as a research assistant to gain experience in post graduate research before completing a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College in 2017. She has recently been awarded a three year HBLB Fellowship funded by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association to be conducted at the Royal Veterinary College in collaboration with Texas A and M University.

Belinda's recent PhD entitled 'Risk Factors and Pathologies Associated with Early Pregnancy Loss in Thoroughbreds' focused on two main areas of early pregnancy loss.  Firstly, a comprehensive epidemiological study on over two thousand mares in the Newmarket area of the UK was conducted to determine risk factors for pregnancy loss in the first sixty five days of pregnancy.  Secondly, the work involved culture and analysis of failed conceptus material from these pregnancies to determine pathologies associated with the losses. Belinda's particular interests lie in the genetic characterisation of these failed pregnancies and she is currently working in collaboration with geneticists from Texas A & M University to karyotype these pregnancies and determine copy number variations (CNVs) associated with these losses.

The aim of her fellowship, funded by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association and administered through the Horserace Betting Levy Board, is to profile CNVs throughout placentation, compare CNV regions in the placental genome from healthy and failed early pregnancies, characterise the heritability of CNV regions and perform a pedigree analysis study to determine the heritability of EPL and lethal CNV regions.  She will also conduct a pilot study  to determine the prevalence of herpes virus in normal and failed pregnancies and identify specific genotypes associated with susceptibility to viral infection.

In addition, she will continue working with the epidemiological database compiled during her PhD to continue to determine risk factors for various conditions relating to early pregnancy. 

Belinda was awarded the RVC Poster Prize at the 2014 Postgraduate Seminar Day for her work on isolation and culture of placental cells from failed equine pregnancies and her work was given a special commendation at the Society of Reproduction and Fertility Congress 2015 annual congress. She has also been awarded the 2017 Charles Loke New Researcher Prize. 



Madeleine L.H. Campbell, Daniel Hampshire, Lauren E. Hamstead, Belinda V. Rose, Ken C. Smite, Amande M. de Mestre (2017). The effects of intrauterine infusion of peanut oil on endometrial health, salivary cortisol and interovulatory period in mares. Theriogenology, 102, 116-125.

Rose, B V., Cabrera-Sharp, V., Firth, M J., Barrelet, F E., Bate, S., Cameron, I J.,Crabtree, J R., Crowhurst, J., Mcgladdery, A J., Neal, H., Pynn, J., Pynn, O D., Smith, C., Wise, Z., Verheyen, K L P., Wathes, D C., De Mestre, A M. (2016). A method for isolating and culturing placental cells from failed early equine pregnancies. Placenta, 38, 107-11.

Rose, B., Firth, M., Morris, B., Nicholson, C., Verheyen, K., Wathes, D.C. and de Mestre, A.M. (2014), Incidence and Risk Factors Associated with Early Pregnancy Loss in Thoroughbreds. Equine Veterinary Journal, 46: 16. doi: 10.1111/evj.12323_35.

Firth, M., Cabrera-Sharp, V., Rose, B., Cameron, I., Crowhurst, J., McGladdery, A., . . . De Mestre, A.M. (2014). Successful isolation and culture of equine placental cells from failed early pregnancies. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 34(1), 187.



Belinda has acted as a co-supervisor for a number of BVetMed and BSc research projects.  She also provides revision lectures on equine reproduction for third year BVetMed students, assists in the teaching of female reproductive anatomy and histology for pre-clinical BVetMed students and has provided lectures and run directed learning sessions for final year BVetMed students enrolled on the RVC's Stud Medicine elective course.

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