Trägerschaft: Schweizerischer Verein Balgrist
I currently serve as an Associate Professor at the University and ETH Zurich, and have
headed the Laboratory of Orthopedic Biomechanics here since 2006. Over my career,
including 5 years in industrial research and development, I have acted as direct super-
visor of over 100 individuals and their projects. Among these many working relation-
ships, the most interesting and personally rewarding have been the 13 PhD students
that I have supervised until now. In this role, I have a unique opportunity to closely
interact with talented young scientists, observe their strengths and weaknesses, watch
them cope with adversity, and ultimately witness how they grow as individuals. I be-
lieve this experience uniquely qualifies me to judge their personal and professional
From this vantage point, I am pleased to provide a strong recommendation for Dr. Jen-
nifer Cadby – with whom I worked closely from early 2010 to late 2013. During her time
in my research group, Jennifer pursued several lines of basic research related to tendon
injury and repair. Tendon disorders represent a major cause of human (and equine)
disability, and are the reason behind 50% of all musculoskeletal disorders for which
medical treatment is sought. Jennifer's work focused mainly on the relative “plasticity”
of tendon cells and how these cells alter their behavior in response to experimental
conditions simulating tendon injury and disease. In my opinion, the work she performed
(almost single-handedly) has the potential for large scientific impact.
Dr. Cadby was unique among my group in several regards. First she is a trained biolo-
gist, and was for a long time the only person in my laboratory with a rigorous biological
background. As a biologist swimming within a pool of engineers, Jennifer handled her-
self extremely well. She was eager and able to learn foreign technical concepts, and
communicated effectively to build bridges from her discipline to the more technically
oriented disciplines of her colleagues. This is not a simple task, and represents a rare
but essential characteristic that enables truly interdisciplinary research.
Trägerschaft: Schweizerischer Verein Balgrist
Second, Jennifer was not technically my own employee. She was embedded within my
laboratory as a long-term visiting scientist from the University of Utrecht (a famed cen-
ter for equine musculoskeletal research). Jennifer often received remote – and some-
times conflicting - directives from as many as three other supervisors external to our
laboratory in Zurich. Jennifer displayed a remarkable talent to integrate these diverse
inputs from a broad range of sources into a coherent research plan, and was able to
ultimately produce a strong body of scientific work. In many ways, Jennifer was the
most independent PhD student that I have ever supervised. While she was receptive to
the advice that was given to her by others and myself, she consistently and robustly
plotted her own course with determination.
Jennifer was the first researcher in our group working on the biology of tendon, and
from this standpoint she held sole responsibility for determining feasibility of a wide
range of approaches, and for developing and implementing novel research strategies.
Working in a complicated field without an obvious roadmap, Jennifer was able to quick-
ly gain intellectual command of the problems she assigned herself. She learned and
mastered a wide range of skills necessary to drive her own work, and in doing so
brought our whole laboratory’s capabilities forward.
Thus Jennifer was highly dedicated to her project, and was fully engaged in working to
its successful completion. During her time in the laboratory, she was eager and quick to
learn the techniques necessary for the completion of the project, offered creative solu-
tions to the problems at hand, and consistently demonstrated a strong dedication to
success. Finally, Jennifer was an excellent supervisor of several Masters students - suc-
cessfully advising them on both their science and the practical aspects of their pro-
jects. Dr. Cadby was highly valued by these students who could depend upon her for
able guidance and meaningful mentoring.
Jennifer Cadby would be a welcome addition to any organization: she is competent,
hardworking, and extremely likable – given her professional and personal competence, I
am confident that she will integrate easily into any team, scientific or otherwise. Your
organization would benefit from having her as a member.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this recom-
mendation, or if I can lend support to Dr. Cadby's application in any way.