Matt Teeter

Matt Teeter (PhD Candidate)

I came to Western after completing an Honours BSc in Bio-Medical Science at the University of Guelph. My research is in the areas of orthopaedics and medical imaging, studying hip and knee replacements. My interest in musculoskeletal health didn't arise until my third year of undergrad, while taking human anatomy. I found dissecting limbs and joints more fascinating than any other parts of the body, and followed my interest by taking courses in biomechanics. It's an area at the cross-roads of medicine and engineering, and imaging is a key tool for many types of studies.

Joining Robarts has been a great personal and professional opportunity. Few places in the world have so much technology and expertise all in one location. The ability to work with both top imaging scientists and orthopaedic surgeons has significantly enhanced my education. The other students in my program, Medical Biophysics, are also great to spend time with, inside and outside of the lab.

Part of my research required instrumenting a biomechanical model of the leg with a total knee replacement. One of our collaborating surgeons came to do it for us, and allowed myself and another student to perform parts of the "operation." It gave me a much greater understanding of how the surgery is performed, even better than the times I've had the opportunity to observe in the OR. It was also a lot of fun!

There is an incredible array of opportunities here, no matter what area of imaging you're interested in. For students like myself, coming from a medical science background, it's very worthwhile to pair up with both an imaging scientist and a clinician in your field. That way you'll have a good understanding of both the imaging side and the disease process you're working on. You might also be able to spend time in clinics and the OR, to really get a sense of how your research can affect patients. In addition to the core graduate programs at Western, there are also a number of supplemental training programs, such as the Joint Motion Program that I'm in, that can really add to your education and experience.

Right now I'm in the middle of my PhD in Medical Biophysics here at Robarts. My next step will likely involve further training in research or medicine. Eventually, I'd like to be a researcher at an academic institution, working on translational orthopaedics research that can improve outcomes for patients. One thing I would tell prospective students is about the importance of finding an advisor with whom you can be productive and have a good working relationship.