Mcilwraith Honored with Colorado State University’s Scholarship Impact Award

The Scholarship Impact Award, one of Colorado State University’s top annual honors for research accomplishments, was presented to Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, director of the Orthopaedic Research Center and Barbara Cox Anthony University Endowed Chair.

The award, given by Colorado State’s Office of the Vice President for Research, includes $10,000 to support the research of the award recipient. McIlwraith was honored at the Celebrate Colorado State! Luncheon on April 26.

McIlwraith’s peers have noted his significant accomplishments in veterinary and human orthopedic scholarship in terms of both basic and clinical science.

"Nationally and internationally, Dr. McIlwraith’s achievements have been repeatedly recognized by the most prestigious awards possible in his field," said Bill Farland, Vice President for Research at Colorado State. "There are few veterinary scientists working in any area who have had a greater influence on their discipline."

McIlwraith joined Colorado State in 1979 in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as an equine surgeon with a research focus in orthopedics. Milestones include his appointment as director of the Equine Sciences Program in 1994, which accompanied a major expansion of the orthopedics research program through the addition of a tenure-track faculty position in equine orthopedic research.

He successfully ran the country’s most prestigious and accomplished equine sciences program until 2001, when he resigned that position to become the full-time director of the Orthopaedic Research program. The program, which he started developing soon after coming to Colorado State, and the subsequent establishment of the Orthopaedic Research Center has helped make the university the world’s leading center for comparative orthopedic research.

McIlwraith’s was the first veterinarian to recognize and seize the unique opportunities that the emerging technology of arthroscopy offered to clinicians and researchers. Initially developing diagnostic techniques and then inventing the surgical arthroscopy techniques that are in common use throughout the world today, McIlwraith led the veterinary profession in what has become one of the most important tools for treating joint disease.

This ability to recognize and exploit the very latest and most powerful technologies in both his basic scientific investigations and in clinical applications has been the hallmark of McIlwraith’s career, and remains so today as his group uses novel gene transfer technologies to investigate and treat joint inflammation and pain.

His history of accomplishment as a researcher, clinician and educator can be seen in his leadership and development of numerous programs at Colorado State including the Musculoskeletal Research Group, a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence.

McIlwraith has published 234 refereed publications, which have been cited more than 2,500 times, and he has been author or co-author of four textbooks and has contributed 38 book chapters. As principle or co-investigator, he has been awarded 133 grants with a cumulative value of more than $14 million.    

McIlwraith, who was born in New Zealand, also is a Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Diplomate, European College of Veterinary Surgeons.