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Gluck Center > About Us > Equine Research Hall of Fame > Nixon

Photo of Hall of Fame Horse StatueThe Equine Research Hall of Fame — Alan J. Nixon

Photo of Dr. Nixon
Alan J. Nixon
United States

Dr. Alan J. Nixon is internationally regarded as an innovative surgeon and research scientist who has combined pioneering methods in equine arthroscopy with a research career dedicated to improving joint health through regenerative medicine and a better understanding of musculoskeletal pathogenesis.
Inducted October 2009.

Photo of Dr. and Mrs. NixonDr. Nixon was born in Corowa, Australia, in 1955. He received his B.V.Sc with Distinction and Diploma in Veterinary Clinical Studies from the University of Sydney before completing surgical training and an M.S. degree at Colorado State University. Dr. Nixon joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1983 before moving to Cornell University in 1988. He is currently professor of Orthopedic Surgery and director of the Comparative Orthopaedics Laboratory and the JD&ML Wheat Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Labora­tory at Cornell University. He served as Chief of Large Animal Surgery at Cornell from 1998 to 2002.

Dr. Nixon’s research career has been devoted to the study of musculoskeletal disease. His focus has been cartilage injury and repair, where he has been a pioneer in regenerative medicine approaches to minimize and reverse arthritic consequences to equine sports injuries. He has developed cell and gene-based therapies to improve cartilage healing after traumatic injury using molecular modification of stem cells to drive differentiation and regenerate joint surfaces. Much of his work studies the fundamental deficiencies of cartilage healing and probes the multifactorial genetic linkage in developmental orthopaedic disease in foals.  A better understanding of joint pathobiology, stem cell genetic programming, and combination of cytokine control in the transplant environment has forged the era of dedicated cell therapy in equine adult orthopedic diseases. Much of his work is supported through equine racing and breed agencies, the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Nixon is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a member of numerous veterinary organizations including the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the Veterinary Orthopedic Society. He is a member of the executive for several research groups including the Orthopedic Research Society, the International Cartilage Repair Society, and the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy.

Nixon has served as consultant to the FDA and to the Biotech industry. His laboratory group has engaged in more than 80 funded research projects. He has authored over 140 scientific papers, two textbooks, and has contributed chapters to 12 other texts.  

Maxwell H.Gluck Equine Research Center
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0099

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