Thomas Steffen, MD, PhD, MBA, completed Medical School and then trained in an Orthopaedic residency program in Bern, Switzerland (1989-92). He later assumed a full-time research career at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he co-founded the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory. The interdisciplinary research group studies disc degeneration and regeneration, minimally invasive surgical technology, biomechanical characterization of implants, the use of bone graft substitutes for spinal fusion and mechanical augmentation of osteoporotic spinal fractures. His personal expertise is in dynamically loaded organ culture models of human and bovine disc explants, animal experiments for bone substitutes for spinal fusion, as well as in 3D spinal biomechanics to assess implant mechanical performance (PhD in spinal kinematics, 1998). He also has a vested interest in translational research and successfully brought surgical technology as an academic entrepreneur from the lab to the market. He has a solid understanding of the regulatory frameworks implied to bring medical devices to market.
After collaborating for many years with the Musculoskeletal Research Unit (MSRU) at the Vetsuisse Faculty Zurich, Thomas Steffen part-time joined from 2016-2020 the research group as a senior scientist. Together with the existing MSRU team (incl. senior veterinary surgeons, a cell biologist, a dedicated anesthetist and a QA team), MSRU is able to offer a broad research expertise and can perform animal experiments (plan, run, evaluate, report) for academic and industry partners. The MSRU specializes in developing and performing animal models, particularly in musculoskeletal applications and has extensive expertise in cartilage repair and regeneration models in sheep and goats. The MSRU is the only laboratory at a Swiss University that is accredited by Swissmedic for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and has access to state-of-the-art infrastructure to conduct animal experiments as well as clinical infrastructure and expertise for animal care. The MSRU also has extensive expertise in histological processing and histopathological analyses.