Kara Thornton-Kurth

Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences

Beef Cattle Nutrition, Skeletal Muscle Growth and Physiology


Kara J. Thornton-Kurth

Contact Information

Office Location: AGRS 241
Phone: (435) 797-7696
Email: 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, 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

    An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.

    Publications | Fact Sheets

      An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.

      Publications | Journal Articles

      Academic Journal

      • 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.
      • Reichhardt, C.C, Ahmadpour, A., Christensen, R.G, Ineck, N.E, Murdoch, G.K, Thornton-Kurth, K., (2020). Understanding the influence of trenbolone acetate and polyamines on proliferation of bovine satellite cells. Domestic Animal Endocrinology.. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 74, doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2020.106479.
      • 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., Inhibition of mitochondrial calcium uniporter enhances postmortem proteolysis and tenderness in beef cattle. Meat Science
      • 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 epidermal growth 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.

      An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.

      Publications | Other

      An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.

      Teaching

      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 and Veterinary Sciences, January 2021
      Tevan Brady, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, January 2019
      Caleb Reichhardt, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, July 2018
      Laura Smith, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, January 2018
      Reganne Briggs, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, June 2019 - December 2020
      Jacob Hadfield, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, May 2017 - May 2020
      Nikole Ineck, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, May 2017 - May 2020