Board of Directors

Dr. Kurt Hankenson – Chair

Dr. Hankenson is currently a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Michigan. A former equine veterinarian, he began his independent research career at the University of Michigan in 2002 as a faculty member in the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories. In 2006 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Veterinary Medicine, where he became the inaugural holder of the Dean W. Richardson Chair for Equine Disease Research in 2012. In 2017 he moved back to Michigan. He has a long standing interest in musculoskeletal dysfunction and repair. In particular his laboratory explores the molecular and cellular basis for mesenchymal stem cell osteoblast differentiation and translates these findings to clinical bone regeneration. He received his DVM from the University of Illinois (1992), an MS from Purdue University (1997) and his PhD from the University of Washington (2001).

Dr. Thomas G. Koch – Vice Chair

Dr. Koch received his DVM degree from the Veterinary College in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000. He then worked in mixed practice before completing a one-year rotational internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College in 2001-2002. Following this, he returned to Denmark to work for one year as an equine practitioner. In 2003, he returned to the OVC to become a resident in large animal medicine. He completed his residency in 2005, and has since been doing his PhD studies in Biomedical Sciences at the OVC on the topic of equine stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

Dr. Scott Hopper – Treasurer

Dr. Hopper is a 1993 graduate of the University Wisconsin – Madison School of veterinary medicine. Following veterinary school Dr. Hopper completed an internship at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. The internship was followed by an equine surgical residency at Washington State University where he also obtained his Masters of Science in Veterinary Science. After a year of clinical instructorship Dr. Hopper returned to Rood & Riddle where he is currently a surgeon and partner.

Dr. Tracy Lehman Webb – Vice Chair Elect

Tracy attended The Ohio State University to obtain her doctor of veterinary medicine degree (1998). She then completed a clinical internship in small animal medicine and surgery (1999) and a residency in small animal emergency and critical care (2003) at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Following completion of her residency, Tracy was selected as a trainee at Colorado State University for a National Institutes of Health T32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (2004). Tracy received a K08 Clinical Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in 2007. Tracy finished her thesis work on the modification of the innate immune response during feline immunodeficiency virus infection and received her Ph.D. in Pathology (Immunology) in 2008. Tracy is currently working as a Research Scientist at CSU in the Clinical Sciences Department of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Her many research projects focus on two main areas: regenerative medicine/stem cell therapy and biology, and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Laurie Goodrich – Secretary

Dr. Goodrich graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine. She went on to complete an internship at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in equine surgery and medicine. She then completed an equine surgical residency at Marion DuPont Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia and obtained a master of science in Pharmacology. Following her residency she became board certified in Equine Surgery and was a faculty surgeon at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, NY. While at Cornell, she also obtained her PhD in cellular and molecular biology of cartilage repair with Dr. Alan Nixon. In 2005, she joined the faculty at Colorado State University as an Assistant Professor in Equine Surgery and Lameness. She is currently a Professor of Equine Surgery and Lameness and specializes in equine orthopedics. She is also a translational scientist at the Equine Orthopaedic Research Center at CSU. Her research focuses on Regenerative Medicine and Gene Therapies for musculoskeletal repair.

Dr. Alan Nixon – Immediate Past Chair

Dr. Nixon is the Director of the Comparative Orthopaedics Laboratory at Cornell University. Dr. Nixon obtained his veterinary degree from the University of Sydney in 1978 and completed a surgical residency and research degree at Colorado State University in 1983. After five years in the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Florida, Dr. Nixon moved to New York in 1988 where he is currently a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell University. Dr. Nixon’s research includes joint pathobiology and cartilage repair with growth factor gene-enhanced chondrocyte and stem cell transplantation techniques, genetic characterization of OCD in animals and man using microarray expression studies, and clinical application of growth factor recombinant proteins and gene therapy for improved joint, tendon, and bone repair.

Dr. Susan W. Volk

Dr. Volk, VMD, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, is a board-certified veterinary surgeon, seeing clinical surgical appointments, performing surgery at the Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and teaching small animal surgery to veterinary students. Her clinical interest focuses on cutaneous wounds and reconstruction with specific expertise in regenerative medicical therapies. She has a specific interest in cell-based therapies and hopes that her research focus in this field will lead to the development of novel approaches to improve healing of various organs/tissues in veterinary patients as well as humans.

Dr. Dean Betts

Dr. Betts is internationally recognized for his contributions in embryo development, telomere biology and for deriving some of the first stem cell populations from dogs and horses. He received his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Western Ontario and his PhD from the University of Guelph. Following a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Betts joined the Ontario Veterinary College as an Assistant Professor in 2001. He moved his research lab to Western in 2008. He is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and a Scientist at Children’s Health Research Institute and at the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He is the current Director of Western’s Collaborative Graduate Program in Developmental Biology. He has published over 65 peer-reviewed publications and his research is currently supported by CIHR and NSERC operating grants along with other institute, foundation and industry supported research funds.

Dr. Boaz Arzi

Dr. Arzi is an Associate Professor of Dentistry and Oral surgery at the department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary medicine, at UC Davis. Dr. Arzi completed the residency-training program in Dentistry and Oral Surgery at the UC Davis and is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and the European Veterinary Dental Collage. In addition, Dr. Arzi completed two years of fellowship at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. Dr. Arzi’s clinical and research focus is on oral maxillofacial disorders and regenerative solutions in dogs and cats. His lab also investigates TMJ disorders and treatments across species. He is a principle investigator on the use of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) for feline gingivostomatitis and also a co-principle investigator on the use of rhBMP-2 for mandibular reconstruction. Furthermore, Dr. Arzi works in collaboration with the biomedical engineering group at UC Davis for the development of biological solutions to TMJ disorders in human. Ultimately, Dr. Arzi’s work is translational with the aim of One Health treatment modalities for both human and animal health.

Dr. Ashlee Watts

Dr. Watts is director of the Comparative Orthopedics and Regenerative Medicine Lab and an equine orthopedic surgeon in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University. Her clinical interest in the performance horse is a focus point for the dedicated study of orthopedic diseases and the development of innovative targeted therapeutic measures. Dr. Watts works with board certified faculty members on the Equine Orthopedics, Equine Sports Medicine & Imaging and Diagnostic Imaging services at Texas A&M and collaborates with basic scientists and veterinarians throughout the world to advance the field of equine orthopedics and regenerative medicine.