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 Graduate students at the Orthopaedic Research Center come from a variety of backgrounds and conduct research in a wide range of disciplines.

Graduate Educational Program

​The ORC trains graduate students from a variety of programs, including Clinical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering. It is not a prerequisite to be a DVM to enter the program, however, students with very strong basic sciences laboratory experience are preferred. Typical fields of study include molecular and cellular biology, biomedical engineering, and rehabilitative and regenerative therapies. First-year graduate students generally perform service work (e.g., working as a teaching assistant) and write grants to acquire funding for their projects during their second and third years. Graduates are expected to have not only the competency to design and perform research projects, but also the skills to write and publish manuscripts to acquire funding. Students are expected to write a competitive research grant to demonstrate these skills.

Program Overview

​Program History

The Orthopaedic Research Center (ORC) was originally started by Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith as a means of disseminating information from clinical orthopedic patients. Beginning in the early 1990's, the laboratory took on a more experimental component, and now houses clinical, imaging, biochemical, molecular biological and biomechanical components. Because of this, Graduate Studies are offered at both the Masters and the PhD level in a wide range of disciplines. Research projects in the laboratory include investigations into the causes of various joint diseases, evaluation of various joint therapies, (including corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, sulfated glycosaminoglycans, gene therapy and various cartilage healing techniques), and evaluation of the latest diagnostic techniques to better characterize joint disease.

Department Requirements

The ORC is in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, and students in the ORC fall under the guidelines of the Department. However, students from an outside department, such as Engineering, occasionally work with ORC faculty, but must adhere to Graduate Student requirements in those departments.

National Western Scholarship

The $6,000 National Western Graduate Scholarship in Equine Veterinary Medicine is available to a PhD or resident student. Recipients are selected by the CVMBS Equine Health & Sciences Scholarship Committee.

For information about the Orthopaedic Research Center Graduate Program, contact:

Dr. Melissa King, D.V.M., Ph.D., Diplomate A.C.V.S.M.R.

Contact Us:
​1678 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1678

​(970) 491-8645

​(970) 297-4138