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Surgical Research Laboratory

The Surgical Research Laboratory (SRL) specializes in in-vivo orthopaedic and soft tissue preclinical research. The five ACVS board-certified veterinary surgeons in SRL are highly trained experts in spinal, orthopaedic, sports medicine and soft tissue ovine models. SRL has nine full-time staff members and its facilities house over 400 sheep making the lab fully prepared to organize preclinical studies in a timely and efficient manner.


Dr. Simon Turner, a leading authority in large animal surgery, established The Surgical Research Laboratory in order to provide a large animal model that could be used to study a variety of products and implants. Many of the devices studied have ultimately been cleared for use in humans. Dr. Turner's vast experience and knowledge of sheep as a research model advanced the SRL to a nationally known status and highly respected research facility for over 20 years. Recently named a Professor Emeritus at CSU, Dr. Turner continues to play a vital role in all studies performed at the SRL.


 SRL in the News

  • sheep in space, NASA, McIlwraith, ORC, Orthopaedic Bioengineering Research Laboratory
    ​CSU's Orthopaedic Bioengineering Research Laboratory, NASA, and a herd of sheep have teamed up to make human space travel safer with the help of a $1.5 million grant. NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars by 2030.​
  • emeritus simon turner
    ​Dr. Turner, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Clinical Sciences, has received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from The Ohio State University.
  • marley, grizzly bear, surgical research laboratory, vth, surgery, animal sanctuary
    ​The CSU Vet Teaching Hospital was all about bear care when a grizzly came in for orthopaedic surgery. The female bear was rescued from a tourist trap in Georgia, where she and 16 other bruins had been confined in concrete bunkers. CSU veterinarians and vet students fixed two fractured forelimbs, so the grizzly girl could return to a natural habitat at a Colorado refuge.
  • dr. simon turner, surgical award, SRL
    ​Simon Turner, founder of the Colorado State University Surgical Research Laboratory, received the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Founders' Award for Career Achievement at the 2013 ACVS Veterinary Symposium on Oct. 24 in San Antonio.

Sheep Models

Orthopaedic surgery on leg bone and steel plate

  • Bone healing studies
  • Internal fixation implant testing
  • External fixation implant testing
  • Allograft, autograft and xenograft testing
  • Osteochondral defect/cartilage regeneration

Spinal column graphic

  • ​Lumbar interbody fusion
  • Posterolateral intervertebral fusion - PLIF
  • Cervical fusion
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Laminectomy

Soft tissue surgery close-up

  • ​Wound reconstruction/healing
  • Urogenital implants
  • Laparoscopic surgery

Sheep in osteoporosis study

  • ​Nutritional studies
  • Hormonal studies
  • Laparoscopic ovariectomy

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

(970) 682-0079​

​(970) 297-5045