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Kara Thornton-Kurth

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Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences

Beef Cattle Nutrition, Skeletal Muscle Growth and Physiology

Assistant Professor

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


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 body 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 on growth in livestock animals.

Teaching Interests

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

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 3 projects occurring in her lab: 1. Elucidate the mechanism through which trenbolone acetate improves skeletal muscle growth in satellite cells of beef cattle 2. Determine the molecular mechanism(s) responsible for observed differences in end-product quality of offspring from dams that received a nutritional insult in the second trimester 3. Gain insight into the molecular pathways responsible for development of tenderness in beef products. Dr. Thornton-Kurth's research program is currently supported by funds from the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station.

Contact Information

Go toOffice Location: AGRS 241
DialPhone: 435-797-7696


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 - Books & Book Chapters

      * Has not been peer reviewed

      Publications - Fact Sheets

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        Publications - Curriculum

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          Publications - Journal Articles

            Academic Journal

          • 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., 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.
          • Professional Journal

          * Has not been peer reviewed

          Publications - Literary Journal

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            Publications - MultiMedia

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              Publications - Technical Reports

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                Publications - Translations & Transcripts

                  Publications - Other

                    * Has not been peer reviewed

                    Scheduled Teaching

                    ADVS 5500 - Applied Animal Nutrition, Spring 2017

                    ADVS 6500 - Applied Animal Nutrition, Spring 2017

                    ADVS 2500 - Feeds and Feeding, Fall 2016

                    ADVS 3910, 6900 - Special Topics, Spring 2016

                    Graduate Students Mentored