Wayne McIlwraith obtained his veterinary degree from Massey University, New Zealand, was in practice in New Zealand and the UK followed by an internship at the University of Guelph, Canada and a surgical residency at Purdue University. He also obtained MS and PhD degrees from Purdue University. Since 1979 he has been a faculty member at Colorado State University. Currently he is a University Distinguished Professor, holds the Barbara Cox Anthony University Endowed Chair in Orthopaedics and the Founding Director of the Orthopaedic Research Center. He also has a referral equine orthopaedic surgical practice based in Southern California and is a consultant and surgeon for clients in Ireland, England and France.
His research interests focus on equine orthopaedic surgery and translational joint disease research including novel treatments for osteoarthritis and articular cartilage repair, mesenchymal stem cell therapies and early diagnosis of osteoarthritis and pre-fracture disease using imaging and fluid biomarkers. He has authored six textbooks, 450 scientific publications and textbook chapters and given over 650 scientific presentations, seminars and workshops.
Honors include doctoral degrees (honoris causa) from the University of Vienna, Purdue University, Massey University, the University of Turin and the University of London, the Founders Award for Lifetime Achievement from ACVS, the Frank Milne Lecturer at AAEP, the John Hickman Award for Equine Orthopaedics from BEVA, induction into the international Equine Research Hall of Fame, the Markowitz Award from the Academy of Surgical Research and the Marshall R. Urist MD Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research from the Orthopaedic Research Society.