2014 BBS Leadership Group Shot  

The Leadership Program

Lucas Smolders


I grew up in a small village in the Netherlands (Geldrop), and I have always had a passion for animals, big and small. I started my veterinary studies at the age of 18, and since then my interest and enthusiasm for research have grown considerably. During my veterinary studies at Utrecht University I have had the privilege to do extensive research on intervertebral disc degeneration in dogs, focusing on the fundamental biomolecular processes involved in the degenerative cascade and on developing new surgical and regenerative strategies for treating intervertebral disc-degenerative disease in dogs.


Apart from my studies, I love playing sports. Since the age of 7 I have practiced various martial arts, including Taekwondo and Jiu-jitsu, and at this moment my main sports are boxing, cycling (road and mountain bike), and scuba diving. In addition to practicing the sports myself, I like teaching these sports to both children and adults. Last, I enjoy spending time with my friends, going out, and traveling.

Career Goal:

After receiving my veterinary degree, I wish to obtain a PhD degree. Thereafter, my aim is to continue conducting and supervising research, possibly in a post-doc position. In this position, I wish to develop novel, regenerative and surgical treatments for neurological diseases commonly observed in veterinary medicine, such as intervertebral disc disease in dogs. Also, I wish to become a resident in veterinary surgery and eventually a board-certified, veterinary (neuro)-surgeon. Ideally, I hope to combine the above-described positions.