About Primus Equine

Primus Equine Veterinary Surgery was founded by Dr. Catherine Hackett following more than a decade of advanced training in surgery and research at Cornell University. Upon completion of her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Stem Cell Research, her personal goal was to utilize all components of her experience to make a lasting contribution to the veterinary profession. She decided to develop a new creative model for equine specialty practice that encompassed her clinical and research skills and interests. She recognized the need for cost-effective support to equine practitioners who desired the assistance of an expert to improve the quality of care available to their patients, particularly during the recent challenging economic times.

The satisfaction of working directly with practitioners provides her an outlet for ongoing teaching and collegial interactions in a mutually beneficial environment. Her talents in award winning, cutting-edge research and clinical application make her uniquely well-suited for translation of current knowledge into novel equine therapies. Quality, exceptional service, and attention to detail are cornerstones of her practice philosophy and are evident in everything she does.


Institution Degree Year Field
University of Minnesota BS 1998 Animal Science
University of Minnesota DVM 2000 Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University PhD 2009 Biological Sciences

Clinical Training

Ontario Veterinary College Internship, LA Animal Medicine & Surgery 00-01
Cornell University Residency in LA Surgery 02-05


2007 Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Large Animal Surgery Specialty


2012-present Large Animal Surgeon, Practice Owner, Primus Equine Veterinary Surgery
2010-present LA Emergency Surgeon (after hours), Cornell University Hospital for Animals
2009-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Dr. Lisa Fortier laboratory
2005-06 LA Emergency Surgeon (after hours), Cornell University Hospital for Animals
2001-02 Professional Assistant in LA Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College


2010 Grayson Jockey Club Storm Cat Research Career Advancement Award - This is an award given once a year to a veterinarian who shows promise as an equine researcher-here is a link to a story that appeared in a Cornell newsletter (page 5): Publication Link
2009 NIH Individual National Research Service Award Grant-This is a prestigious competitive training fellowship awarded by the NIH. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) awarded only 49 postdoctoral fellowships that year nationwide to scientists from all disciplines.
2006 NIH Institutional National Research Service Award Training Grant-I was one of two veterinarians at Cornell supported by this grant.
2005 Graduate Research Assistant Grant- This is a competitive Cornell grant I received the first year of my graduate work.
2005 Dean's Fund for Clinical Excellence Grant-This grant was awarded for a project entitled "Mapping Neuromuscular End Plates of the CAD Muscle"
2000 ACVS Scholarship for Excellence in Large Animal Surgery, University of Minnesota
2000 The John E. Salsbury Veterinary Scholarship for Superior Scholarship, Initiative, and Leadership, University of Minnesota


  • International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • American College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • American Association of Equine Practitioners
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Cornell Vertebrate Genomics Society
  • Cornell Stem Cell Society


  • Ad hoc reviewer for Equine Veterinary Journal
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Veterinary Surgery
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Stem Cell Research
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Equine Veterinary Education
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Journal of Tissue Science and Engineering
  • Ad hoc reviewer for The Veterinary Journal


  • Radcliffe CH, Woodie JB, Hackett RP, Ainsworth DM, Erb HN, Mitchell LM, Soderholm LV, Ducharme NG. A comparison of laryngoplasy and modified partial arytenoidectomy as treatments for laryngeal hemiplegia in exercising horses. Vet Surg. 35 (7):643-52, 2006.
  • Cheetham J, Radcliffe C, Sanders I, Mu L , Ducharme NG, Hermanson JW. Neuroanatomy of the Equine Dorsal Cricoarytenoid Muscle. Equine Vet J. 2008 Jan ; 40 (1) 70-75.
  • Witte TH, Mohammed HO, Radcliffe CH, Hackett RP, Ducharme NG. Racing performance after combined prosthetic laryngoplasty and ipsilateral ventriculocordectomy or partial arytenoidectomy: 135 Thoroughbred racehorses competing at less than 2400 m (1997-2007). Equine Vet J. 2009 Jan; 41(1):70-5
  • Radcliffe CH, Flaminio MJ, Fortier LA. Temporal analysis of equine bone marrow aspirate during establishment of putative mesenchymal progenitor cell populations. Stem Cells Dev. 2010, 19 (2) 269-282.
  • Hackett CH, Flaminio MJ, Fortier LA. Analysis of CD14 expression levels in putative mesenchymal progenitor cells isolated from equine bone marrow. Stem Cells Dev. 2011, 20(4) 721-35.
  • Hackett CH, Greve L, Novakofski KD, Fortier LA. Analysis of gene specific DNA methylation patterns in cells derived from equine adult and juvenile tissues. Submitted.
  • Fortier LA, Hackett CH, Cole BJ. The effects of platelet rich plasma on cartilage: Basic Science and Clinical Application. Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine. 2011, 19, (3) 154-159.
  • Hackett CH and Fortier LA. Embryonic and iPS cells. In: Vet Clinics of North America: Cell-based therapies for the treatment of equine musculoskeletal disease. 2011 Aug; 27(2):233-42.
  • Hackett CH. Partial arytenoidectomy in the management of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy. In : Advances in Equine Upper Respiratory Surgery (Wiley Blackwell Publisher). Submitted.


  • 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010 ACVS Veterinary Symposia
  • 2005 World Equine Airway Symposium
  • 2006 and 2010 Vincent du Vigneaud Memorial Symposium. Weill Medical College
  • 2007 and 2010 Orthopedic Research Society Annual Symposia
  • 2008 Invited Lecturer, Center for Stem Cell Research, Brown Institute of Molecular Medicine; University of Texas
  • 2008 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • 2009 Biological and Biomedical Research Symposium. Cornell University
  • 2008 and 2009 Annual Stem Cell Symposia. Cornell University
  • 2010 and 2011 Annual Meetings of the New York State Stem Cell Science Society
  • 2008, 2009, 2011 Poster session at the Annual Fall Zweig Committee Meeting
  • 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012 Surgical Seminar Series. Cornell University
  • 2007 and 2008 Stem Cell Biology Seminar Series. Cornell University
  • 2005 Anesthesia Seminar Series. Cornell University
  • 2004 Invited lecture. Syracuse Invitational Sport Horse Tournament
  • 2002 and 2003 NYSVMS Fall Equine Practitioners Conference
  • Multiple lectures and laboratories for Cornell students including Stem Cell Biology, Block V, Block VII, Equine Specialty Rotation, Large Animal Symposia, and the Cornell Surgery Club.