Pioneering equine surgeon and researcher C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, a University Distinguished Professor who holds the Barbara Cox Anthony University Chair in Orthopaedics at Colorado State University, received the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) Research Award for his life-long contributions to equine research, specifically in the areas of orthopedics, joint disease, and biologic therapies.

The AAEP Research Award, first presented in 2014, honors an individual who has completed research that has or will make a significant impact on the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of equine disease. McIlwraith received the award at the President’s Luncheon, held on Dec. 4, 2018 during the 2018 AAEP Convention in San Francisco, California.

Colleagues of McIlwraith, who is also founding director of the university’s Orthopaedic Research Center and namesake of its new Translational Medicine Institute, note the honor of nominating him, saying, “His research and educational efforts have improved the health and welfare of virtually thousands of horses worldwide, and we can think of no one more deserving of this award.”

McIlwraith pioneered arthroscopic surgery and joint disease research in the horse, and many of his procedures have been translated into human medicine. He is the co-author of five textbooks, more than 400 textbook chapters and refereed publications, and has given over 600 presentations and workshops.

Previous awards for his research include:

  • The John Hickman Award for Orthoaedic Research by the British Equine Veterinary Association (1997);
  • Recognition as an Honored Researcher by the Colorado State University Research Foundation (2004);
  • Induction into the University of Kentucky Equine Research Hall of Fame (2005);
  • Scholarship Impact Award by Colorado State University (2007);
  • Elastickon Award for Equine Research by the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation (2008);
  • Markowitz Award for outstanding contributions to medicine through experimental surgery, by the Academy of Surgical Research (2013); and
  • The Marshall R. Urist MD award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research by the Orthopaedic Research Society (2014).

McIlwraith is a graduate of Massey University in his native New Zealand. He holds honorary degrees from universities in Austria, England, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States, and he consults worldwide as a specialist equine surgeon.