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Presented June 7, 2008
Oath and Hooding Ceremony
Dr. E. Christopher Orton graduated summa cum laude from Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. He came to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine as a small animal surgical resident and was awarded a Master of Science degree in 1982. He joined the faculty at Colorado State University as an assistant professor in 1983 and became a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1985. After three years he took a leave of absence from his faculty position to complete an NIH research fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He went on to complete a PhD in cardiopulmonary physiology at CSU in 1989 and became a professor that same year.
Dr. Orton's current research focuses on proteomic discovery of biomaterial antigens, which will help to improve future surgical implants. He has developed significant inventions including several patented bioprosthetic materials used in heart valve replacement and novel surgical procedures such as cardiomyoplasty. In addition, he has perfected several open-heart procedures for acquired heart conditions in dogs.
Dr. Orton established and operates the most highly regarded clinical open-heart surgery program in the world. This pioneering program is credited with many firsts in the area of canine heart surgery and is currently recognized as the premier center for canine heart surgery in North America. Dr. Orton has been successful in competing for major research grants from highly regarded agencies including the American Heart Association, National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and other private foundations and industries.
Dr. Orton's curriculum vitae lists over 39 successfully mentored graduate students, and he remains active as an advisor for nine graduate students. He is a highly productive author, publishing one textbook and editing two other texts, writing over 30 chapters in textbooks and periodicals, and publishing more than 60 peer reviewed articles in high impact journals. Dr. Orton has received multiple awards for his clinical and research activities and is recognized as one of the most highly skilled and internationally respected veterinary cardiovascular surgeons in the U.S. These awards include the CSU Distinguished Service Award, the Distinguished Faculty Award, the Honored Researchers Award, the SmithKline Beecham Award for Research Excellence, and the Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award in 2003.