Margreet Ploeg

I love to think about the big puzzle

"I'm interested in the pathology of animal diseases. I love to think about diseases and how they develop. I've been working as a clinician for some years, but I find pathology more challenging. It's not only diagnosing and curing diseases, but also finding out how diseases develop.

"I like to solve problems and think about the big puzzle. Fundamental research is fascinating. I love to work with animals. There are so many different species and so many differences between the breeds. This makes veterinary research more challenging than human research. It can be of direct use for animal owners and clinicians in the field.   

Screen horses
"In my dissertation I focused on Friesian horses. Friesian horses, especially young ones, are more likely than other breeds to suffer from an aortic rupture. After such a rupture horses can still live for a couple of weeks or sometimes even months, but eventually they die. It's a serious and tragic event. The rupture is probably caused by a genetic defect, probably because of inbreeding, but we have no good diagnostic tools to screen horses yet. We can do echocardiography of the oesophagus in a standing horse, but monitoring would be the next step.

Big puzzle
"I'm not specifically interested in Friesian horses, but in the pathological background in general. All animal species are equally interesting, but within the necropsy hall I´d rather study smaller animals than larger species. Small companion animals are more easy to do a necropsy on. It's the thinking that makes research interesting. How does a seemingly healthy horse develop an aortic rupture? It's a big puzzle that you want to solve."

Read more about Margreet's dissertation research.