Best of the best

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

For Matthew Teeter walking across the stage to receive his PhD in Medical Biophysics from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry caps off what can only be described as an exceptional four years.

Since arriving at Western University in 2008, Teeter has proven himself to be a dedicated researcher, mentor and leader. He published 16 peer reviewed papers, 30 posters or abstracts, was invited to make eight presentations, and served as Tutorial Assistant, all while maintaining a high average in all his graduate courses.

David Holdsworth, Dr. Sandy Kirkley Chair in Musculoskeletal Research believes that Teeter is one of the top graduate students with whom he has worked in his 15 years of supervising students. "I am certain that Matthew has the initiative needed to be a successful, independent scientist. During his time in graduate studies, he has already produced more manuscripts than many of our PhD students do by the end of their graduate and post-doctoral studies," says Holdsworth.

Teeter's research focuses on the function and wear and tear of total hip and knee replacement joints, specifically looking at implants that were over used or were improperly implanted. Working with surgeons, his work uses components of broken joint implants, studying, comparing and testing different makes.

His enterprising and creative mind was put to the test early on, as he had to adapt existing equipment to support his ongoing research.

His tenacity paid off. The modifications he made to a CT scanner led to it being used in an entirely new capacity. Thanks to his work it can now offer the ability to measure the entire three-dimensional surface of plastic joint-replacement components to quantify the wear and tear. Interest in Matthew's work has led to new national and international collaborations with groups in Winnipeg, Halifax and Memphis USA. By analyzing implants from joint replacement surgeries, the group conducts case reports on why deterioration is happening and theories on how to prevent deterioration in the future.

Of all his accomplishments over the past few years, one of the most far reaching was his involvement in the development of the Joint Motion Training Program in Musculoskeletal Health Research and Leadership (JuMP) Program. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), JuMP trains leaders who can meet the upcoming challenges in musculoskeletal health research and who will significantly improve health, mobility and quality of life for Canadians. Being involved in JuMP has allowed him to meet people doing similar research across Western's campus. His advice for other graduate students is to get involved in these value-added programs as it allows you to collaborate with students from other faculties.

After his graduation on June 15, Teeter will take on a new challenge as he begins his Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) here in London. Rarely allowing a postdoctoral fellow to stay in the same area for their fellowship, CIHR made an exception for Teeter as London is the leading site for bone and joint research.
Teeter's research will focus on possible modifications to help make bone and joint replacement parts stronger, increasing the longevity of the implant. Western University is the only school in Canada with the proper equipment for this important research.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry is proud to congratulate Matthew Teeter on his upcoming graduation.