7 February 2018

Marianna Tryfonidou appointed Professor of Regenerative Orthopaedics

The Executive Board has appointed Marianna Tryfonidou to the post of Professor of Regenerative Orthopaedics at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals and the department of Equine Sciences, effective from 1 February 2018. Her research focuses on regenerative therapies for back pain and osteoarthritis, two major musculoskeletal conditions that are common in both humans and animals (especially dogs and horses).

The musculoskeletal system supports the body, makes it possible to move around, and protects vital organs. The medical specialism of Orthopaedics focuses on injuries and diseases of this system, such as back pain and osteoarthritis. Current therapies to treat these conditions are generally geared towards reducing the pain and delaying surgical interventions, but not necessarily towards actually healing the diseased tissue. That makes the treatments expensive; back pain and osteoarthritis are responsible for around 5.8% of the total health care expenditures in the Netherlands.

By taking up challenges to health care in both humans and animals, we can take regenerative therapies for orthopaedic patients to the next level

Back pain is the number one disease causing the highest number of years lived in disability and one of the most common pain complaints in humans. Specific dog breeds suffer from acute herniation resulting in paralysis, while large breed dogs, like human, often need to be treated for chronic back pain. . Osteoarthritis affects 10% of men over 60, and 18% of women; these number will increase even further with the ageing population. Around 20% of adult dogs also develop osteoarthritis, rising to 80% of all dogs over eight years old.

Restoration of damaged tissue

Tryfonidou works closely together with her colleagues in the veterinary and medical field and the industry to develop treatments that stimulate the biological and functional restoration of damaged tissues in humans and animals. To do so, they use biomaterials, cells and bioactive substances, as well as combinations of the three.

“I am extremely pleased with this appointment”, says Tryfonidou. “By taking up challenges to health care in both humans and animals, we can take regenerative therapies for orthopaedic patients to the next level.”

One Medicine: treatments for dogs and humans
Marianna Tryfonidou studied Veterinary Medicine at the Aristoteles University in Thessaloniki, Greece. She came to the Netherlands after she graduated in 1999, where she did a one-year internship at the Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals. Tryfonidou then went on to conduct her PhD research on the influence of vitamin D on skeletal development in dogs. She earned her PhD Cum Laude in 2002, thereafter specialised further to become a board-certified European specialist in surgery for companion animals. Since 2008, she has concentrated on the further development of regenerative orthopaedics from the perspective of One Medicine: the development of treatments for both humans and animals.

Read her bright minds portret.