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Biomedical Sciences professor receives Special Recognition Award

Ontario Veterinary College professor Thomas Koch, Department of Biomedical Sciences, has been selected to receive a Special Recognition Award from the University of Guelph. 

Dr. Thomas Koch, Ontario Veterinary CollegeLast year, seven Young Investigators, one from each college at the U of G, received a Research Excellence Award. This year, Dr. Koch was selected to receive a Special Recognition Award from among these exceptional awardees.

The U of G Research Excellence Awards and Research Leadership Chairs were initiated last year recognizing research excellence and innovation.

Koch, who was previously recognized with a 2016 Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, focuses his research on stem cell biology, tissue engineering-based therapies and regenerative medicine. In particular, he is studying the potential of stem cells to repair damage to joints and cartilage. 

Koch is the Director of the network Regenerative Medicine @ Guelph which promotes collaborative work among 19 researchers who are investigating the emerging areas of stem cells, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He is the only veterinarian who sits on the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s (OIRM) council, comprised of researchers and specialists working primarily in human regenerative medicine across the province. As well, Koch is co-chair of the Equine Guelph Research Committee and the Species Coordinator for the Equine Research Herd at Arkell. 

His work on equine stem cells for cartilage repair includes finding better ways to treat horses, as well as using the horse as a model for testing new therapies for humans. 

Koch is also a founding member and current vice-chair of the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association (NAVRMA). As the incoming Chair of NAVRMA, he will bring the annual meeting to Canada for the first time next year, from September 8 to 11, 2019 in Niagara on-the-Lake.

Research Excellence awards are a one-time, $5,000 award. Early career faculty who are one to two years’ post-tenure are eligible.