Professional News

UK Equine Analytical Chemistry Lab appoints Cynthia Cole as acting director

Cynthia Cole
Bringing thirty years of experience, Cole will oversee all operations of UK’s Equine Analytical Chemistry Lab dedicated to serving Kentucky’s signature industry. Courtesy Martin-Gatton CAFE

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has announced the appointment of Cynthia Cole as the acting laboratory director of the UK Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (EACL), effective March 15, 2024.

With an enduring commitment to Kentucky’s signature equine industry, the college strives to be a leader in research, education and outreach programs that advance the health and safety of the horse. The EACL is integral to this mission, exemplifying the highest standards of service for substance testing and regulatory programs.

Cole brings over 30 years of experience to this role, with a diverse background spanning academia, industry and research. Previously, Cole served as an associate clinical professor and director of The Racing Laboratory at the University of Florida from 2002-2006 and again from 2018-2023 when the laboratory closed.

In addition, Cole was one of the founding faculty members of the KL Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California, Davis (1995-2002). She holds a D.V.M., Ph.D. and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida and is recognized as a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology. Cole has also made significant contributions in her industry roles at Mars Petcare, Novartis Animal Health, IDEXX and Piedmont Pharmaceuticals.

In her role as acting director, Cole will oversee all operations of the laboratory, including reviewing procedures from sample receiving to results and ensuring compliance with all applicable accreditation criteria.

"With the resources, energy and support that UK, the racing industry, elected policymakers and other stakeholders have invested in the Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, it is poised to be an industry leader in forensic drug testing,” said Cole. “Moving forward, and working with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit and regulators of sport horse competitions, I am confident that we can achieve that vision.”

Leveraging her background in veterinary medicine and pharmacology, Cole will also provide guidance on chemistry and sample analysis to ensure the accuracy and reliability of testing procedures. Additionally, she will supervise daily laboratory activities, offering leadership and support to staff members to maintain the highest standards of performance.

"We warmly welcome Dr. Cole to the college," said Nancy Cox, vice president of land-grant engagement and dean of Martin-Gatton CAFE. "Her extensive experience and proven leadership will be instrumental in advancing the EACL’s history of providing drug testing that meets the highest industry standards. She will also be instrumental in upholding the integrity of the equine industry, advancing the health and welfare of the horse.”

To learn more about the EACL’s research and services, visit

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