Department: Clinical Science and Services

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology, CPCS (Research Programme)

Clinical Groups: Equine Diagnostic Imaging, Equine Surgery

Roger is Professor of Equine Orthopaedics at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). He divides his time between providing specialist orthopaedic referral services at the Royal Veterinary College's Equine Referral Hospital, where he is involved in lameness diagnostics, imaging and orthopaedic surgery, and continuing to direct research into equine tendon disease.  

He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge University (UK) in 1987, having obtained a First for his undergraduate degree and a Cambridge Blue at swimming.  After 2 years in practice, he returned to academia to undertake further clinical training as a Resident in Equine Studies at the Royal Veterinary College. Following his residency, he undertook a 3 year research project culminating in the award of a PhD for his studies on the extracellular matrix of equine tendon.  He remained at the Royal Veterinary College, first as a Lecturer in Equine Surgery, then as Senior Lecturer in Equine Surgery before his appointment as Professor in Equine Orthopaedics in December 2003.  He holds the Diploma of Equine Orthopaedics from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Equine Surgery.  He is a Diplomate of the European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is also a Large Animal Imaging Associate of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging.  In 2016, he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contribution to knowledge and was elected to president of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in July 2017.  He was elected President-Elect of the British Equine Veterinary Association in September 2022.

Roger helps run the Tendon Biology Group at the Hawkshead campus with Dr. Jay Dudhia and which has received more than £5 million in research funding.  His main research interests are understanding the pathogenesis of tendon disease, diagnostics for musculoskeletal disease, and stem cell therapy for tendons in both horses and humans.  

Smith R, Onnerfjord P, Holmgren K, di Grado S, Dudhia J. Development of a Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Neo-Epitope Assay for the Detection of Intra-Thecal Tendon Disease. Int J Molecular Sci. 2020;21(2155).

Rashid M, Dudhia J, Dakin SG, Snelling SJB, De Godoy R, Mouthuy PA, Smith RKW, Morrey M, Carr AJ. Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation of cellular response to a woven and electrospun polydioxanone (PDO) and polycaprolactone (PCL) patch for tendon repair. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 16;10(1):4754. 

Kent AV, Chesworth MJ, Wells G, Gerdes C, Bladon BM, Smith RKW, Fiske-Jackson AR. Improved diagnostic criteria for digital flexor tendon sheath pathology using contrast tenography. Equine Vet J. 2020 Mar;52(2):205-212.

Khan MR, Smith RK, David F, Lam R, Hughes G, De Godoy R, Carr AJ, Goodship AE, Dudhia J. Evaluation of the Effects of Synovial Multipotent Cells on Deep Digital Flexor Tendon Repair in a Large Animal Model of Intra-Synovial Tendinopathy. J Orthop Res. 2020 Jan;38(1):128-138.

Smith R, Parsons J, Dixon J. Risk of intra-articular injection with longitudinal ultrasound-guided injection of collateral ligaments of the equine distal interphalangeal joint. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2020 Jan;61(1):67-76.

O’Brien EJO, McAlpine JM, Schramme, MC, Clegg PD, Archer RM, De Guio C, and Smith RKW Avulsion of the proximal digital annular ligament in five hindlimbs. Equine Veterinary Education. 2018 30(8): 427-432.

O'Brien EJO, Smith RKW. Mineralization can be an incidental ultrasonographic finding in equine tendons and ligaments. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2018 Sep;59(5):613-623.

Goldberg AJ, Zaidi R, Brooking D, Deirdre Brooking, Louise Kim, Michelle Korda, Lorenzo Masci, Ruth Green, Paul O’Donnell, Roger Smith. Autologous Stem Cells in Achilles Tendinopathy (ASCAT): protocol for a phase IIA, single-centre, proof-of-concept study. BMJ Open 2018;8:e021600. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2018-021600.

Khan MR, Dudhia J, David FH, De Godoy R, Mehra V, Hughes G, Dakin SG, Carr AJ, Goodship AE, Smith RKW. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells do not enhance intra-synovial tendon healing despite engraftment and homing to niches within the synovium. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2018 Jun 19;9(1):169. doi: 10.1186/s13287-018-0900-7.

Edmonds RE, Garvican ER, Smith RK, Dudhia J. Influence of commonly used pharmaceutical agents on equine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell viability. Equine Vet J. 2017 May;49(3):352-357. 

Clements LE, Garvican ER, Dudhia J, Smith RK. Modulation of mesenchymal stemcell genotype and phenotype by extracellular matrix proteins. Connect Tissue Res.2016 Nov;57(6):443-453.

Garvican ER, Wylie CE, Payne RJ, Smith RK, Head MJ. Mineralization of the Equine Palmar/Plantar Annular Ligament Treated by Surgical Resection. Vet Surg. 2016 Jul;45(5):602-8.

Garvican ER, Salavati M, Smith RK, Dudhia J. Exposure of a tendonextracellular matrix to synovial fluid triggers endogenous and engrafted celldeath: A mechanism for failed healing of intrathecal tendon injuries. ConnectTissue Res. 2016 Oct 11:1-9.

Khan MR, Chandrashekran A, Smith RK, Dudhia J. Immunophenotypic characterization of ovine mesenchymal stem cells. Cytometry A. 2016 May;89(5):443-50.

Dudhia J, Becerra P, Valdés MA, Neves F, Hartman NG, Smith RK. In Vivo Imaging and Tracking of Technetium-99m Labeled Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Equine Tendinopathy. J Vis Exp. 2015 Dec 9;(106).

Brink P, Smith RK, Tverdal A, Dolvik NI. Changes in synovial fluid biomarker concentrations following arthroscopic surgery in horses with osteochondritis dissecans of the distal intermediate ridge of the tibia. Am J Vet Res. 2015 Jul;76(7):599-607.

Smith RKW How to Select Cases and Utilize Stem Cells in Tendon Injury. AAEP proceedings, 60, 509-515.

Smith RK, Garvican ER, Fortier LA. The current 'state of play' of regenerative medicine in horses: what the horse can tell the human. Regen Med. 2014 Sep;9(5):673-85.

Garvican ER, Cree S, Bull L, Smith RK, Dudhia J. Viability of equine mesenchymal stem cells during transport and implantation. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014 Aug 8;5(4):94.

Garvican ER, Dudhia J, Alves AL, Clements LE, Plessis FD, Smith RK. Mesenchymal stem cells modulate release of matrix proteins from tendon surfaces in vitro: a potential beneficial therapeutic effect. Regen Med. 2014 May; 9(3):295-308.

Dakin SG, Dudhia J, Smith RK. Resolving an inflammatory concept: the importance of inflammation and resolution in tendinopathy. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2014 Apr 15;158(3-4):121-7.

Dakin SG, Smith RK, Heinegard D, Onnerfjord P, Khabut A, Dudhia J. Proteomic analysis of tendon extracellular matrix reveals disease stage-specific fragmentation and differential cleavage of COMP. J Biol Chem. 2014 Feb 21;289(8):4919-27

Pfau T, Spicer-Jenkins C, Smith RK, Bolt DM, Fiske-Jackson A, Witte TH.  Identifying optimal parameters for quantification of changes in pelvic movement symmetry as a response to diagnostic analgesia in the hind limbs of horses. Equine Vet J. 2014 Nov;46(6):759-63.

Barstow A, Pfau T, Bolt DM, Smith RK, Weller R. Design and Validation of a Computer-Aided Learning Program to Enhance Students' Ability to Recognize Lameness in the Horse. J Vet Med Educ. 2014 Spring;41(1):1-8.

Tully LJ, Murphy AM, Smith RK, Hulin-Curtis SL, Verheyen KL, Price JS. Polymorphisms in TNC and COL5A1 genes are associated with risk of superficial digital flexor tendinopathy in National Hunt Thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J. 2014 May;46(3):289-93.

Smith RK, Werling NJ, Dakin SG, Alam R, Goodship AE, Dudhia J. Beneficial effects of autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in naturally occurring tendinopathy. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 25;8(9):e75697.

O'Brien EJ, Smith RK. Science in brief: the likely role of the central nervous system in bilateral tendinopathy and tendon healing. Equine Vet J. 2013 Jul;45(4):401-2.

Dakin SG, Dudhia J, Smith RK. Science in brief: resolving tendon inflammation. A new perspective. Equine Vet J. 2013 Jul;45(4):398-400.

Smith RK. Stem cell therapy for tendinopathy: lessons from a large animal model. Br J Sports Med. 2013 Jun;47(9):e2.

Becerra P, Valdés Vázquez MA, Dudhia J, Fiske-Jackson AR, Neves F, Hartman NG, Smith RK. Distribution of injected technetium(99m)-labeled mesenchymal stem cells in horses with naturally occurring tendinopathy. J Orthop Res. 2013 Jul;31(7):1096-102.

Fiske-Jackson AR, Barker WH, Eliashar E, Foy K, Smith RK. The use of intrathecal analgesia and contrast radiography as preoperative diagnostic methods for digital flexor tendon sheath pathology. Equine Vet J. 2013 Jan;45(1):36-40.

Dakin SG, Werling D, Hibbert A, Abayasekara DR, Young NJ, Smith RK, Dudhia J. Macrophage Sub-Populations and the Lipoxin A(4) Receptor Implicate Active Inflammation during Equine Tendon Repair. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32333. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Caniglia CJ, Schramme MC, Smith RK. The effect of intralesional injection of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells and bone marrow supernatant on collagen fibril size in a surgical model of equine superficial digital flexor tendonitis. Equine Vet J. 2011 Epub Dec 11.

Smith RK, McIlwraith CW. Consensus on equine tendon disease: Building on the 2007 Havemeyer symposium. Equine Vet J. 2012 Jan;44(1):2-6.

Godwin EE, Young NJ, Dudhia J, Beamish IC, Smith RK. Implantation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells demonstrates improved outcome in horses with overstrain injury of the superficial digital flexor tendon. Equine Vet J. 2012 Jan;44(1):25-32.

Dakin SG, Jespers K, Warner S, O'Hara LK, Dudhia J, Goodship AE, Wilson AM, Smith RK. Therelationship between in vivo limb and in vitro tendon mechanics after injury: A potential novel clinical tool for monitoring tendon repair. Equine Vet J. 2011 Jul;43(4):418-23.

Kasashima Y, Ueno T, Tomita A, Goodship AE, Smith RK. Optimisation of bone marrow aspiration from the equine sternum for the safe recovery of mesenchymal stem cells. Equine Vet J. 2011 May;43(3):288-94.

Jordana M, Wilderjans H, Boswell J, Dewulf J, Smith RK, Martens A. Outcome after lacerations of the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, suspensory styleligament and/or distal sesamoidean ligaments in 106 horses. Vet Surg. 2011 May;40(3):277-83.

Crawford A, O'Donnell M, Crowe O, Eliashar E, Smith RK. Digital sheath synovial ganglion cysts in horses. Vet Surg. 2011 Jan;40(1):66-72.

Smith MR, Wright IM, Minshall GJ, Dudhia J, Verheyen K, Heinegård D, Smith RK. Increased Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Concentrations in Equine Digital Flexor Tendon Sheath Synovial Fluid Predicts Intrathecal Tendon Damage. Vet Surg. 2010 40(1):54-8.

Dart AJ, Dart CM, Dudhia J, Perkins N, Canfield P, Smith RK. A Preliminary Study on the Effect of Wounding on Transforming Growth Factor-β1 and Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Concentrations in the Skin of Horses. Vet Surg. 2011 Jan;40(1):59-65.

Fiske-Jackson AR, Crawford AL, Archer RM, Bolt DM, Smith RK. Diagnosis, Management, and Outcome in 19 Horses with Deltoid Tuberosity Fractures. Vet Surg. 2010 Dec;39(8):1005-10.

Lui PP, Maffulli N, Rolf C, Smith RK. What are the validated animal models for tendinopathy? Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011 Feb;21(1):3-17.

Gough MR, Thibaud D, Smith RK. Tiludronate infusion in the treatment of bone spavin: a double blind placebo-controlled trial. Equine Vet J. 2010 Jul;42(5):381-7.

Posthumus M, Collins M, Cook J, Handley CJ, Ribbans WJ, Smith RK, Schwellnus MP, Raleigh SM. Components of the transforming growth factor-{beta} family and the pathogenesis of human Achilles tendon pathology--a genetic association study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2010 Nov;49(11):2090-7.

Crowe OM, Hepburn RJ, Kold SE, Smith RK. Long-term outcome after arthroscopic debridement of distal phalanx extensor process fragmentation in 13 horses. VetSurg. 2010 Jan;39(1):107-14.

Frisbie DD, Smith RK. Clinical update on the use of mesenchymal stem cells in equine orthopaedics. Equine Vet J. 2010 Jan;42(1):86-9.

Smith RK. 'Can you regain your youth?'--the real potential of stem cell technology. Equine Vet J. 2010 Jan;42(1):2-4.

Avella CS, Ely ER, Verheyen KLP, Price JS, Wood JLN, Smith RKW Ultrasonographic assessment of the superficial digital flexor tendons of National Hunt racehorses in training over two racing seasons. Equine Vet J. 2009 May; 41(5): 449-454.

Raleigh SM, Van der Merwe L, Ribbans WJ, Smith RK, Schwellnus MP, Collins M. Variants within the MMP3 gene are associated with Achilles tendinopathy: Possible interaction with the COL5A1 gene. Br J Sports Med. 2009 43(7):514-20

Smith RK. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for equine tendinopathy. Disabil Rehabil. 2008;30(20-22):1752-8.

Fortier LA, Smith RK. Regenerative medicine for tendinous and ligamentous injuries of sport horses. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2008 Apr;24(1):191-201.

Smith RK, Goodship AE. The effect of early training and the adaptation and conditioning of skeletal tissues. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2008 Apr;24(1):37-51.

Moffat PA, Firth EC, Rogers CW, Smith RK, Barneveld A, Goodship AE, Kawcak CE, McIlwraith CW, van Weeren PR. The influence of exercise during growth on ultrasonographic parameters of the superficial digital flexor tendon of young Thoroughbred horses. Equine Vet J. 2008 Mar;40(2):136-40.

Kasashima Y, Takahashi T, Birch HL,Smith RK, Goodship AE. Can exercise modulate the maturation of functionally different immature tendons in the horse? J Appl Physiol. 2008 Feb;104(2):416-22. Epub 2007 Dec 13.

Hughes TK, Eliashar E, Smith RK. In vitro evaluation of a single injection technique for diagnostic analgesia of the proximal suspensory ligament of the equine pelvic limb. Vet Surg. 2007 Dec;36(8):760-4.

Dudhia J, Scott CM, Draper ER, Heinegård D, Pitsillides AA, Smith RK. Aging enhances a mechanically-induced reduction in tendon strength by an active process involving matrix metalloproteinase activity. Aging Cell. 2007 Aug;6(4):547-56.

Smith MR, Wright IM, Smith RK. (2007) Endoscopic assessment and treatment of lesions of the deep digital flexor tendon in the navicular bursae of 20 lame horses. Equine Vet J. 39: 18-24.

Smith R.K., Dyson S.J., Schramme M.C., Head M.J., Payne R.J., Platt D., and Walmsley J. (2005) Osteoarthritis of the talocalcaneal joint in 18 horses. Equine Vet J., 37, 166-171.

Smith MRW, Crowe OC, Ellson C, Turner SJ, Patterson-Kane JC, Schramme MC, and Smith RKW (2005) Surgical treatment of osseous cyst-like lesions in the distal phalanx arising from collateral ligament insertional injury. Equine Veterinary Educationstyle 17 (4) 195-200.

Smith M.A., Walmsley J.P., Phillips T.J., Pinchbeck G.L., Booth T.M., Greet T.R.,Richardson D.W., Ross M.W., Schramme M.C., Singer E.R., Smith R.K., and Clegg P.D. (2005) Effect of age at presentation on outcome following arthroscopic debridement of subchondral cystic lesions of the medial femoral condyle: 85 horses (1993--2003). Equine Vet J., 37, 175-180.

Goodman SA, May SA, Heinegard D, and Smith RK. (2004) Tenocyte response to cyclical strain and transforming growth factor beta is dependent upon age and site of origin. Biorheology. 2004;41(5):613-28.

Kasashima Y, Takahashi T, Smith RK, Goodship AE, Kuwano A, Ueno T, and Hirano S. (2004) Prevalence of superficial digital flexor tendonitis and suspensory desmitis in Japanese Thoroughbred flat racehorses in 1999. Equine Vet J., 36, 346-350.

Crowe OM, Dyson SJ, Wright IM, Schramme MC, and Smith RK. (2004) Treatment of chronic or recurrent proximal suspensory desmitis using radial pressure wave therapy in the horse. Equine Vet J., 36, 313-316.

Johnson, A., Smith, R.K.W., Saxne, T., Hickery, M., and Heinegård, D. (2003) Fibronectin fragments cause release and degradation of collagen-binding molecules from equine explant Osteoarthritis and Rheumatism, 12, 149-159.

Post, E., Smith, R.K.W., Clegg, P.D., Proudman, C., and Singer, E. (2003) A retrospective study of 24 cases of septic calcaneal bursitis in the Equine Vet J, 35, 662-668.

Smith, R.K., Korda, M., Blunn, G.W., and Goodship, A.E. (2003) Isolation and implantation of autologous equine mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow into the superficial digital flexor tendon as a potential novel treatment. Equine Vet J, 35, 99-102

Smith, R.K., Birch, H.L., Goodman, S., Heinegard, D., and Goodship, A.E. (2002) The influence of ageing and exercise on tendon growth and degeneration-hypotheses for the initiation and prevention of strain-inducedtendinopathies. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol, 133, 1039-50

Smith, R.K.W., McGuigan, M.P., Hyde, J.T., Daly, A.S.G., Pardoe, C.H., Lock, A.N., and Wilson, A.M. (2002) In vitro evaluation of non-rigid support systems for the equine metacarpophalangeal joint. Equine vet J., 34, 726-31.

Smith, R.K.W., Gerard, M., Dowling, B., Dart, A.J., Birch, H.L., and Goodship, A.E. (2002) Correlation of Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein (COMP) levels in equine tendon with mechanical properties – a proposed role for COMP in determining function-specific mechanical characteristics of locomotor Equine vet. J., Suppl. 34, 241-244..

Smith, R.K.W. and Heinegård, D. (2000) Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein levels in digital sheath synovial fluid and serum with tendon injury. Equine vet. J., 32, 52-58.

Dowling, B.A., Dart, A.J., Hodgson, D.R., and Smith, R.K. (2000) Superficial digital flexor tendonitis in the horse. Equine vet. J., 32, 369-378.

Smith, R.K.W., Birch, H., Patterson-Kane J., Firth, E.C., Williams, L., Cherdchutham, W., van Weeren R., and Goodship, A.E. (1999) Should equine athletes commence training during skeletal development? - changes in tendonmatrix associated with development, ageing, function, and Equine vet. J., Suppl. 30, 201-209.

Smith, R.K.W., Zunino, L., Webbon, P.M., and Heinegård, D. (1997) The distribution of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) in tendon and its variation with tendon site, age, and Matrix Biol., 16, 255-271.

Roger is involved in both undergraduate (BVetMed) and postgraduate teaching.  For undergrduate teaching he teaches on the locomotor module and during clinic rotations in equine surgery.  At a postgraduate level he is involved in Resident (Senior Clinical Training Scholar) training where he has supervised or helped train 15 residents in equine surgery (with 2 more currently in post) with 100% pass record with the ECVS, 2 in Equine Practice and Orthopaedics, and 2 in Diagnostic Imaging.  In research, he has successfully supervised 6 PhD students (with two currently in post).  he is also heavily involved in delivering CPD to veterinary practitioners both nationally and internationally.

In addition to running a research group investigating tendon disease in horses and humans, Roger provides specialist orthopaedic referral services at the Royal Veterinary College's Equine Referral Hospital, where he is involved in lameness diagnosis, imaging and orthopaedic surgery.

Roger acts as Resident Ombudsman for the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.

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