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Alyssa Aho

Position/Title: MSc by Coursework
email: aaho02@uoguelph.ca

Research gate site link
LinkedIn site link

Advisor: Wendy Pearson



  • MSc Animal Physiology (University of Guelph, Current)
  • HBSc Biology and Chemistry (Lakehead University, 2017-2021)


Current research

For my Master’s degree project, I will be working in Dr. Pearson’s equine lab looking at leaky gut syndrome in horses. Leaky gut syndrome is when the horses gastrointestinal (GI) tract is compromised which causes increased permeability of the intestine meaning that microbial contents of the intestine can transport through the intestinal barrier into the blood stream; this can cause effects such as inflammation, as an example. Leaky gut syndrome is a big problem not only in the equine species, but all species, so the understanding of the different effects that leaky gut syndrome can have on the horse as well as potential mediations for the problem are required. 


Specifically, I will be looking at the effects of exercise on lipopolysaccharide(LPS) and C-reactive protein(CRP) biomarker levels in blood samples taken from horses with leaky gut syndrome. Both LPS and CRP are biomarkers that are typically found in the GI tract of horses but when leaky gut syndrome is present, these biomarkers will find their way into the horse’s blood stream.. In order to analyze LPS and CRP concentrations, equine-specific ELISA kits for LPS and CRP will be used to analyze the blood samples. 


I have yet to begin my research into the possible effects of exercise on LPS and CRP concentrations in the blood of horses with leaky gut syndrome but please check back for updates. 


About me 

I have always had a soft spot for animals of any kind which is what led me to pursue my Master’s degree at the University of Guelph in the Animal Biosciences department. Although I do not have much experience with horses, the species has always peaked my interest. This interest in horses and the fact that leaky gut syndrome has such a large effect on them is my personal motivation for doing this work.  


Some of my personal hobbies include camping and hiking in Northwestern Ontario, both in and around my hometown of Thunder Bay. Apart from camping and hiking, I also enjoy spending time with my friends as well as spending time with my dog taking her for walks.