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Michelle L. Delco, DVM, PhD, DACVS

Department of Clinical Sciences

Diplomate - American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Harry M. Zweig Assistant Research Professor

Department of Clinical Sciences
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
930 Campus Rd., Box 32
Ithaca, NY 14853


Research/Clinical Interest

Dr. Delco's research aims to understand how joint injury leads to arthritis in horses and humans. Specifically, she is investigating mitochondria, the energy-producing centers of the cell, as a link between cartilage trauma and osteoarthritis. The goal of her research is to develop new strategies to improve healing and prevent irreversible joint disease and chronic pain in equine and human athletes who suffer orthopedic injuries.


  • 2016     Cornell University, PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences
  • 2003 - 2006     University of California, Davis, Residency in Equine Surgery
  • 2002 - 2003     Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery
  • 1998 - 2002     Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, DVM
  • 1994 - 1998     Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, BS (Animal Science)

Biography/Professional Experience

Dr. Delco received her DVM from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.  After completing a residency in Equine Surgery at the 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 National Institutes of Health Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08) research fellowship.  After completing her PhD, Dr. Delco was appointed Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.  She also currently 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 in Elmont, NY.


PubMed    Please select the PubMed link for a list of Dr. Delco's publications.

Awards and Honors

  • 2016     Young Investigator Award, Arnold and Madalene Penner 5th Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
  • 2015     Coleman Graduate Leadership Program, Cornell University
  • 2015     Dante and Sharon Ferrini Award for Veterinary Thoroughbred Horse Racing Studies, Inaugural Recipient
  • 2007     Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons (Large Animal)
  • 2004     Center for Equine Health Research Award, University of California, Davis
  • 2004     John Hughes Memorial Award, University of California, Davis
  • 2002     A. Gorgon Danks Large Animal Surgery Award, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • 2017 – present     International Cartilage Repair Society
  • 2015 – present     Osteoarthritis Research Society International, member
  • 2014 – present     Orthopedic Research Society, member
  • 2013 – present     American Veterinary Medical Association
  • 2007 – present     American College of Veterinary Surgeons (Large Animal)
  • 2003 - 2012         USDA/APHIS National Veterinary Accreditation Category II Veterinarian