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Kara Thornton-Kurth

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Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences

Beef Cattle Nutrition, Skeletal Muscle Growth and Physiology

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

DialPhone: (435) 797-7696
SendEmail: kara.thornton@usu.edu


Educational Background

PhD, Animal Physiology, University of Idaho, 2013
Physiology of growth and metabolism of skeletal muscle in beef cattle
BS, Animal Science, (Spanish), Washington State University, 2009

Biography

Kara Thornton-Kurth is an Assistant Professor in the Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department at Utah State University. In 2009, she earned her B.S. in Honors Animal Science and a minor in Spanish from Washington State University. She then moved eight miles across the border and completed her doctoral studies in skeletal muscle physiology at the University of Idaho in 2013. Next, Dr. Thornton-Kurth worked as a post-doctoral research associate at University of Minnesota, where she received additional training in skeletal muscle growth. In 2015, she joined USU faculty and runs a research program focusing on the effects of nutrition and growth in livestock animals.


Teaching Interests

Dr. Thornton Kurth currently teaches four separate courses: 1. Animal Feeds & Feeding (ADVS 2500) 2. Applied Animal Nutrition (ADVS 5500/6500) 3. Nutrient Utilization and Metabolization in Livestock (ADVS 5530/6530) and 4. Basic Nutrition (VM7580).

Research Interests

Research in Dr. Thornton-Kurth's lab broadly focuses on improving production and efficiency of livestock animals, particularly brief cattle. A major goal of Dr. Thornton-Kurth's research program is to uncover the molecular mechanism(s) through which nutrition affects growth and end-product quality of livestock animals. Currently, there are 5 projects occurring in her lab: <br>1. Determining the molecular mechanisms through which anabolic implants improve skeletal muscle growth of beef cattle<br>2. Analyzing the impacts of bovine maternal nutrition on growth of progeny skeletal muscle<br>3. Understanding the molecular factors responsible for development of tenderness in beef products<br>4. Determining whether testosterone treatment improves growth of skeletal muscle through modulation of the polyamine biosynthetic pathway <br>5. Develop strategies for beef producers that receive mineral deficient cattle into their feedlots<br>Dr. Thornton-Kurth's research program is currently supported by funds from the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Western Sustainable and Research and Education Programs, as well private industry funding.

Awards

Graduate Research Mentor of the Year, 2021

ADVS Department

Graduate Research Mentor of the Year, 2020

ADVS Department

Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year, 2019

ADVS Department

Gamma Sigma delta Agricultural Graduate Research Student of the Year, 2011

Gamma Sigma Delta- University of Idaho

AVS outstanding graduate student of the year, 2011

University of Idaho

Graduate student poster presentation competition, 2010

Pacific northwest animal nutrition conference

Publications - Abstracts

    Publications - Books & Book Chapters

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      Publications - Fact Sheets

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        Publications - Curriculum

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          Publications - Journal Articles

            Academic Journal

          • Reichhardt, C.C, Ahmadpour, A., Christensen, R.G, Ineck, N.E, Murdoch, G.K, Thornton-Kurth, K., (2021). Understanding the influence of trenbolone acetate and polyamines on proliferation of bovine satellite cells.. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 74, doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2020.106479.
          • Rose, M.F, Waldron, B.L, Isom, S.C, Peel, M.D, Thornton-Kurth, K., Miller, R.L, Rood, K.A, Hadfield, J.A, Long, J., Henderson, B., Creech, J.E, (2021). The effects of organic grass and grass-birdsfoot trefoil pastures on Jersey heifer development: Herbage characteristics affecting intake. Journal of Dairy Science, 104:10, 10879-10895. doi: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2020-19563
          • Briggs, R.K, Christensen, R.G, Quarnberg, S.M, Legako, J.F, Raymond, R.C, MacNeil, M., Thornton-Kurth, K.J, (2021). Relationship between meat quality, carcass characteristics and protein abundance of HSPβ1, HSPA and DJ1 in beef longissimus thoracis pre-rigor or after 14 days aging.. Meat & Muscle Biology, 5:1, doi: 10.22175/mmb.11685
          • Dang, D.S, Buhler, J.F, Thornton-Kurth, K., Legako, J.F, Matarneh, S.K, (2020). Myosin heavy chain isoform and metabolic profile differ in beef steaks varying in tenderness. Meat Science, 170, 108266.
          • Gardner, J.M, Ineck, N.E, Quarnberg, S.M, Legako, J., Carpenter, C.E, Rood, K., Thornton-Kurth, K., (2020). The influence of maternal dietary intake during mid-gestation on growth, feedlot performance, miRNA and mRNA expression, and carcass and meat quality of the resultant offspring. Meat and Muscle Biology, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.22175/mmb.11538
          • Dang, D., Buhler, J., Davis, H., Thornton-Kurth, K., Matarneh, S., (2020). Inhibition of mitochondrial calcium uniporter enhances postmortem proteolysis and tenderness in beef cattle. Meat Science, 162, 108039. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2019.108039
          • Thornton-Kurth, K., (2019). TRIENNIAL GROWTH SYMPOSIUM: THE NUTRITION OF MUSCLE GROWTH: Impacts of nutrition on the proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells in livestock species.. Journal of Animal Science, 97, 2258-2269. doi: 10.1093/jas/skz081.
          • Poli, C.H, Thornton-Kurth, K., Legako, J., Bremm, C., Hampel, V.S, Hall, J.O, Ipharraguerre, I., Villalba, J., (2018). Self-selection of plant bioactive compounds by sheep in response to challenge infection with Haemonchus contortus. Physiology & Behavior, 194:2018, 302-310. doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.06.013
          • Mizell, S., Miller, S.L, Royer, A.M, Thornton-Kurth, K., Garcia, M., (2017). Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms associated with growth and carcass traits located on QTL Regions previously associated with Bovine Respiratory Disease. Genetics and Molecular Research, 16:4
          • Thornton-Kurth, K., Chapalamadugu, K.C, Eldredge, E.M, Murdoch, G.K, (2017). Analysis of Longissimus thoracis Protein Expression Associated with Variation in Carcass Quality Grade and Marbling of Beef Cattle Raised in the Pacific Northwestern United States. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 65:7, 1434-1442.
          • Kamanga-Sollo, E., Thornton-Kurth, K., White, M.E, Dayton, W.R, (2017). Role of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor-1 in estradiol 17β-induced alterations in protein synthesis and protein degradation rates in fused bovine satellite cell cultures. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 58, 90-96.
          • Waldron, B.L, Banks, J.E, Newhall, R., Snyder, D.L, Thornton-Kurth, K., (2016). Interseeding Forage Kochia into Established CRP to Improve Fall and Winter Grazing Potential. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Mamagement, 2, doi: 10.2134/cftm2015.0200
          • Thornton-Kurth, K., Kamanga-Sollo, E., White, M.E, Dayton, W.R, (2016). Active G protein–coupled receptors (GPCR), matrix metalloproteinases 2/9 (MMP2/9), heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (hbEGF), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), erbB2, and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) are necessary for trenbolone acetate–induced alterations in protein turnover rate of fused bovine satellite cell cultures. Journal of Animal Science, 94:6, 2332-2343.
          • Thornton-Kurth, K., Richard, R.P, Colle, M.J, Doumit, M.E, de Veth, M.J, Hunt, C.W, Murdoch, G.K, (2015). Effects of dietary potato by-product and rumen-protected histidine on growth, carcass characteristics and quality attributes of beef.. Meat science, 107, 64-74.
          • Thornton-Kurth, K., Kamanga-Sollo, E., White, M.E, Dayton, W.R, (2015). Role of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 (MMP2 and MMP9), heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (hbEGF), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), erbB2, and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) in trenbolone acetate-stimulated bovine satellite cell proliferation.. Journal of animal science, 93:9, 4291-301.
          • Kamanga-Sollo, E., Thornton-Kurth, K., White, M.E, Dayton, W.R, (2014). Role of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor-1, matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9, and heparin binding epidermalgrowth factor-like growth factor in estradiol-17β-stimulated bovine satellite cell proliferation.. Domestic animal endocrinology, 49, 20-6.
          • Welch, C.M, Thornton-Kurth, K., Murdoch, G.K, Chapalamadugu, K.C, Schneider, C.S, Ahola, J.K, Hall, J.B, Price, W.J, Hill, R.A, (2013). An examination of the association of serum IGF-I concentration, potential candidate genes, and fiber type composition with variation in residual feed intake in progeny of Red Angus sires divergent for maintenance energy EPD.. Journal of animal science, 91:12, 5626-36.
          • Thornton-Kurth, K., Welch, C.M, Davis, L.C, Doumit, M.E, Hill, R.A, Murdoch, G.K, (2012). Bovine sire selection based on maintenance energy affects muscle fiber type and meat color of F1 progeny.. Journal of animal science, 90:5, 1617-27.
          • Papasani, M.R, Thornton-Kurth, K., Yinggian, Z., Brezas, A., Welch, C., Wang, G., Villasante, A., Pokharel, D., Cheguru, P., Kotla, S., Julien, D.C, (2010). Does obesity reduce load-induced muscle hypertrophy?. The Journal of physiology, 588:Pt 11, 1819-20.

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          Publications - Literary Journal

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            Publications - MultiMedia

              Video

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            Publications - Technical Reports

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              Publications - Translations & Transcripts

                Publications - Other

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                  Scheduled Teaching

                  VM 7580 - Basic Nutrition, Spring 2022

                  ADVS 5530, 6530 - Nutrient Metabolization & Utilization, Spring 2022

                  ADVS 6900 - Special Problems, Spring 2022

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2021

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2021

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2021

                  ADVS 5500, 6500 - Applied Animal Nutrition, Spring 2021

                  VM 7580 - Basic Nutrition, Spring 2021

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2020

                  VM 7580 - Basic Nutrition, Spring 2020

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2019

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2019

                  ADVS 5500, 6500 - Applied Animal Nutrition, Spring 2019

                  VM 7580 - Basic Nutrition, Spring 2019

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2018

                  VM 7580 - Basic Nutrition, Spring 2018

                  HONR 4900 - Honors Thesis/Capstone, Spring 2018

                  ADVS 5530, 6530 - Nutrient Metabolization and Utilization, Spring 2018

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2017

                  ADVS 5500 - Applied Animal Nutrition, Spring 2017

                  ADVS 6500 - Applied Animal Nutrition, Spring 2017

                  ADVS 5080 - Beef Management, Spring 2017

                  ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2016

                  ADVS 3910, 6900 - Special Topics, Spring 2016


                  Graduate Students Mentored

                  Anthony Alberto, Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences, January 2021
                  Caleb Reichhardt, Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences, July 2018
                  Laura Smith, Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences, January 2018 - February 2022
                  Tevan Brady, Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences, January 2019 - March 2021
                  Reganne Briggs, Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences, June 2019 - December 2020
                  Jacob Hadfield, Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences, May 2017 - May 2020
                  Nikole Ineck, Animal, Dairy & Vet Sciences, May 2017 - May 2020