Board of directors

Dr. Thomas G. Koch

Chair

Dr. Thomas Koch
Dr. Koch is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada. He received his Veterinary degree from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark. He completed a rotational internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College followed a residency in large animal medicine. He obtained his PhD from the University of Guelph in the area of equine stem cells. Dr. Koch’s current research focus is on stem cell and tissue engineering-based therapies with joint cartilage repair being the main area of investigation. Studies on equine and canine stem cells, joint cartilage and synovial joint health are pursued in parallel. Within this applied research approach basic mechanistic insights of joint homeostasis and the chondrogenic cell fate is sought including studies in the area of cell mechanobiology. Emerging research areas of interest include tendon and ligament repair and the regulatory roles of microRNA. Novel therapies applied in horses and dogs with natural spontaneous disease serve as important translational pre-clinical animal models of similar human diseases. He currently holds two research awards; Special Recognition Research Excellence Award, University of Guelph; Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

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 Webb

Vice Chair Elect

Dr. Webb received her DVM degree from The Ohio State University and completed a small animal internship and emergency/critical care residency at Angell Animal Medical Center. Dr. Webb then received a PhD in Immunology/Pathology from Colorado State University where she remained in a Research Scientist role as well as Coordinator of the Clinical Review Board. With over 10 years of research effort in regenerative medicine, Dr. Webb has performed many in vitro studies and clinical trials looking at a variety of disease processes in several animal species. She has recently been involved in efforts to encourage and support quality clinical trials and the use of natural animal models to accelerate translational research.

Dr. Laurie Goodrich

Secretary

Dr. Laurie Goodrich, Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University
Dr. Goodrich is the Interim Director of the Orthopedic Research Center at Colorado State University’s C. Wayne McIlwraith Translational Medicine Institute and an Equine Surgeon specializing in orthopedic surgery and lameness with a focus on musculoskeletal injuries and trauma. She is an American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) Founding Fellow in Minimally Invasive Surgery in Arthroscopy, Tenoscopy, and Fracture Repair. She received her DVM from the University of Illinois, completed an internship at Virginia Tech Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and an equine surgical residency at the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Northern Virginia. During that time, she also completed a Master of Science in Pharmacology at Virginia Tech. She joined the faculty at Cornell University as an Equine Surgeon in 1996 and also completed a PhD in cartilage repair in 2005 while at Cornell. She joined the faculty at CSU in 2005 as an Assistant Professor of Equine Surgery and is currently a Professor of Surgery and a principle investigator in the Orthopedic Research Center. She is a translational scientist whose research focuses on regenerative medicine, gene therapies and biologics to improve joint and bone repair in both animals and people. She has received the Elastikon Award in Research Excellence from the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, the Cabaud Award in Research from AOSSM and CSU’s AAEP Clinician of the Year Award for teaching excellence. She is currently president-elect of ACVS, on the Board of Directors for North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association, and is the chair-elect for the Preclinical Models Section of the Orthopedic Research Society.

Dr. Kurt Hankenson

Immediate Past Chair

Dr. Kurt Hankenson, NAVRMA Board of Directors
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. 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. Dean Betts, NAVRMA Board of Directors
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. Boaz Arzi, NAVRMA Board of Directors
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.