Dr. Robert Welch is the Director of Musculoskeletal Sciences in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Welch is a respected researcher, having developed a passion for research early in his academic career. Dr. Welch attended veterinary school at Louisiana State University. At LSU, he was awarded a student honors research grant during his first year of veterinary school, which helped fuel his passion for research. He was selected as the Outstanding Veterinary Student of the Year during his second year of training.

His interest in equine orthopaedics and surgery prompted him to attend Kansas State University for an Internship in Large Animal Surgery, followed by a surgical residency at the prestigious Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. During his residency, he worked with the graduate school to develop the first Ph.D. program in Veterinary Clinical Sciences and was the first candidate to earn that degree. Dr. Welch is board certified in Large Animal Surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

As a resident, Dr. Welch was able to supervise and participate in research projects with pediatric orthopaedic surgeons from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. After completing his residency and Ph.D., he was recruited to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in 1991 to develop and direct a comparative orthopaedic surgery research laboratory. The hospital’s research program expanded in scope and capabilities and was formed into the Seay Center for Musculoskeletal Research, where Dr. Welch served as Scientific Director of Research and Director of Comparative Orthopaedics and Preclinical Research.

Before attending veterinary school, he served in the United States Air Force Veterinary Services, earning honors that included Outstanding Airman of the Year and three Congressional advanced promotions.

He is very active in several human and veterinary medical societies. Dr. Welch served on the board of directors of the Veterinary Orthopaedic Society and was its president in 1999. He chaired the organizing committee for the first World Veterinary Orthopaedic Congress held in North America in 2006. 

Dr. Welch serves as a reviewer for numerous orthopaedic publications and has served as an ad-hoc reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration.

He is often an invited speaker nationally and internationally on the subject of orthopaedic model systems and has served as a consultant with numerous orthopaedic-based companies in the area of orthobiologicals and skeletal trauma.


Graduate School
Louisiana State University (1986), Veterinary Medicine
Graduate School
Texas A & M University (1991)

Research Interest

  • Congenital Pseudarthrosis of the Tibia
  • Distraction Osteogenesis
  • Fracture Healing
  • Orthobiologicals
  • Orthopaedic Animal Models
  • Orthopaedic Implants
  • Skeletal growth and remodeling
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Unicameral Bone Cyst


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Chairman, Organizing Committee
    Veterinary Orthopaedic Society (2003)
  • Johnson Memorial Scholarship
    Texas Veterinary Medical Association (1990)
  • Resident's Teaching Award
    Texas A&M University (1988)
  • Outstanding Veterinary Student of the Year
    Louisiana State University (1984)
  • Phi Zeta Award
    Veterinary Honor Society (1984)
  • Veterinary Medical Student Honors in Research
    Louisiana State University (1984)
  • Congressional Advanced Promotion Awards
    United States Air Force (1978)
  • Outstanding Airman of the Year
    United States Air Force, Travis AFB (1978)
  • Distinguished Honor Graduate
    United States Air Force Veterinary Specialist Academy, Brooks AFB Aerospace Center (1977)