Enhancing Fertility in Mares: Recombinant Equine Gonadotropins
Dr. Jan Roser
Dr. Janet F. Roser received her MS degree in Animal Science in 1978 and her PhD degree in Physiology in 1982 while in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis under the auspices of Dr. J. Warren Evans. She then went on to do a two year post-doctoral fellowship at the Hormone Research Laboratory at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center under the auspices of Dr. Harold Papkoff. Upon completion of the post-doc, Dr. Roser worked in the biotech industry for 2 years after which she returned to the Davis campus as a faculty member in Animal Science studying reproductive endocrinology mainly in the stallion and mare for the next 29 years. She retired in 2015 as professor emeritus.
Dr. Roser’s research program addressed the endocrine events in the mare, stallion, boar, elephant and other exotics that operate to initiate, sustain and regulate target organs. Her approach was to investigate the role and mechanism of action of reproductive hormones on inducing a cellular response at the level of the pituitary, gonads and embryo. In addition was the exploration of the paracrine/autocrine system that modulates cellular responses. Her premise was the following: By understanding the control of normal reproductive events, it will then be possible to elucidate the basis of endocrine dysfunction associated with reproductive failure.
While studying hormonal regulation in the stallion, Dr. Roser identified several factors that act locally on the function of Leydig and Sertoli cells in the testes as well as principal cells in the epididymis. From her studies, she developed a theory that the decline in testicular function in idiopathic subfertility is initially due to dysfunctional Sertoli cells after which other testicular cells are effected. This theory still holds true today. Later, Dr. Roser turned her focus on ovarian function in the mare. With colleague Dr. Irv Boime, University of Washington Medical School, St Louis, she determined the efficacy of recombinant equine follicle stimulating hormone (reFSH) and recombinant equine luteinizing hormone (reLH) on superovulation in the mare. A “use” patent was awarded to Dr. Roser and 3 other colleagues. The company, Fertilplus Partners, LLC, was developed by Dr. Roser and two other partners, Drs. Pablo Ross and Ed Squires, to market the recombinants. Dr. Roser has published 122 scientific journal articles and 12 book chapters during her career. She was a PI or CO-PI on 35 grants amounting to over 2.2 million dollars.
Dr. Roser taught Horse Husbandry, Horse Production and Management and Equine Reproduction in the Department of Animal Science throughout her career at Davis. She developed the Stud and Foal Management Internships at the Animal Science Horse Barn which have become very popular with the students. Dr. Roser also developed three distance learning courses with Cal Poly and Fresno State. During her career, the equine science program has flourished with 8 equine courses taught through Animal Science on the Davis campus. For the last 25 years, Dr. Roser has given equine science lectures on two University Extension Horse Packing trips in the Sierras in the summer: Mustang-A Living Legacy and Mountain Horsemanship-Veterinary Care and Horse Packing in the Wilderness. Dr. Roser is an equestrian, riding her Quarter Horse mare, Sheka, on a daily basis.