Regenerative Orthopedics

Michelle Teunissen, DVM, PhD – Postdoctoral Researcher

Grants & Honors
  • K.F. Heinfonds
  • Maria van Naundorf van Gorkum fonds
  • Bertus Kemp prize for best PhD thesis (2020-2022) – Nederlandse Vereniging voor Matrix Biologie
PhD thesis

Michelle Teunissen started her Veterinary Medicine degree at Utrecht University in 2009. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in 2012, she was admitted to the Master’s Honours Program of the faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FVM), consisting of one year of research under the supervision of prof. dr. Marianna Tryfonidou on the differences in the growth plate of large and small breed dogs. During this year, her love for (veterinary) research grew and she decided to prolong her research internship with another year before starting her master’s degree in 2014. During her masters, she was chosen to participate in the 2016 Cornell Veterinary Leadership program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 2017, she obtained her veterinary master’s degree cum laude in the Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals direction.
In 2017, she started her PhD on the mechanisms behind joint distraction under the supervision of prof. dr. Marianna Tryfonidou and prof. dr. Björn Meij from the FVM at Utrecht University and prof. dr. Floris Lafeber and dr. Simon Mastbergen from the Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology department at the UMC Utrecht. The results that were produced during this PhD were presented at several national and international conferences including the TERMIS, OARSI and NVMB. Furthermore, Michelle obtained funding from the Maria van Naundorf van Gorkum fonds and the K.F. Heinfonds for additional studies, creating the possibility to treat the first canine patient with knee joint distraction. In addition, she supervised 10 bachelor and master students during her PhD. On the 31st of March 2022, she successfully defended her PhD thesis; “A Joint Effort; How dogs contribute and benefit from the “One medicine” approach to osteoarthritis”.

Currently, Michelle continues her career as a post-doctoral researcher, focusing on the development of relevant in vitro models for osteoarthritis and new tools to evaluate joint pain in dogs.

Other activities

  • Board member – Veterinary PhD council (2017-2020)
  • Committee member – Early stage researcher committee – the Dutch Matrix Society (NVMB) (2019- 2021)
  • Board member – GSLS PhD council (2020-2022)
  • Board member – Post-doc network Utrecht (PNU) (2022- present)

Current student supervision

  • Niels Blees (PhD candidate; copromotor)

Past MSc/BSc student supervision

  • Kyra Otter
  • Anne-Marij Bergwerff
  • Yael van Ommen
  • Anouk Haasnoot
  • Elisabeth Blink
  • Nora Ahrens
  • Joshka Wolfs
  • Femke van Rees
  • Filippo Albertino
  • Danielle Maris
  • Eline Boer
  • Sylvia Hoek