Equine Hospital - Regenerative Therapies - Meet Our Specialists


Jon Cheetham, Vet MB, PhD, Diplomate of the American College of Surgeons 
Associate Professor, Section of Large Animal Surgery

Dr. Jon Cheetham

  • Board Certified Surgery Specialist

After receiving his VetMB and Masters degrees from Cambridge University in 1995 and 1996 Dr. Cheetham worked in first opinion and referral equine practice in the UK for several years.  He came to Cornell for a residency in large animal surgery in 2003 and completed the PhD there in 2008.  He was appointed Principal Research Scientist in the Department of Clinical Sciences in 2013 and was appointed Associate Professor in 2016.
Clinically, he works with equine sports medicine and upper airway cases. His laboratory focuses on understanding the role of macrophages in the early immune response to nerve injury and applying this knowledge to improve functional outcomes after nerve graft.
Dr. Cheetham is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, a member of numerous professional organizations, and holds a patent for an injectable nerve repair with hydrogel (US 14/840,992).
In his free time Dr. Cheetham is an avid triathlete and has completed the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon.

Michelle L. Delco, DVM, PhD, DACVS
Assistant Research Professor

  • Board Certified Surgery SpecialistDr. Michelle L. Delco

Dr. Michelle Delco received her DVM from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. After completing a residency in Equine Surgery at University of California, Davis to become board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Delco served as an Assistant Professor of Equine Surgery at Kansas State University. In 2008, she joined a private equine referral practice near Seattle, WA, where her primary focus was minimally invasive surgery and the diagnosis and treatment of complicated sports injuries in equine athletes. In 2012, Dr. Delco was awarded a research fellowship supported by the National Institutes of Health and returned to Cornell University to pursue her PhD degree in the Graduate Field of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, with minor fields of study in Biomedical Engineering and Biochemistry, Molecular & Cell Biology. In 2016 she was awarded a 5-year National Institutes of Health Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08). After completing her PhD, Dr. Delco was appointed Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and also serves as a Large Animal Staff Surgeon for the Cornell University Hospital for Animals in Ithaca, NY, and an Equine Surgeon at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists on Long Island.


Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD, DACVS
James Law Professor of Surgery, Section of Large Animal Surgery

  • Board Certified Surgery SpecialistDr. Lisa Fortier

Dr. Fortier is the James Law Professor of Surgery at Cornell University and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cartilage and Joint Preservation. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) from Colorado State University in 1991, and then completed an equine surgery internship at Illinois Equine Hospital. She completed a surgical residency and PhD at Cornell University. She is the Director of Equine Programs and Associate Chair for Graduate Education and Research at Cornell University. Dr. Fortier holds clinics and performs surgery in the Equine Clinic at Cornell in Ithaca, NY, and as a Staff Surgeon at the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists hospital in Elmont, NY. Dr. Fortier’s primary clinical and translational research interests are in equine orthopedic surgery, tendonitis, and arthritis with expertise in regenerative medicine including platelet rich plasms (PRP), stem cells, and IRAP. She has authored over 200 scientific papers and book chapters on topics related to regenerative medicine, arthritis, and tendonitis. 

Heidi L. Reesink, VMD, PhD, DACVS-LA 
Assistant Professor, Section of Large Animal SurgeryDr. Heidi Reesink

  • Board Certified Surgery Specialist

Dr. Reesink received her veterinary medical degree (VMD) from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.  She came to Cornell for a large animal surgery residency from 2008-2011 and worked part-time as an Emergency Surgeon from 2012-2016 while completing her PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences.  She was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences in 2016.

Dr. Reesink is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons with clinical interests in equine and farm animal orthopedic surgery, sports medicine and lameness.  She is interested in translating novel research discoveries, including regenerative medicine and lubricin therapy, to equine clinical patients with musculoskeletal disease.  Her laboratory investigates the pathophysiology, epidemiology and treatment of osteoarthritis and racehorse fractures.

In her free time, Dr. Reesink enjoys outdoor activities, including running, cycling, and horseback riding.