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Hospital for Special Surgery Researchers Awarded More than $4 Million in NIH Grants

New York City—July 19, 2010

Three Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) researchers have been awarded grants from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Mathias Bostrom, M.D., Suzanne Maher, Ph.D., and Timothy Wright, Ph.D., will receive a total of more than $4 million to begin new studies of joint replacements, joint tissue substitutes and elbow reconstruction.

"The mission of the HSS research program is for teams of clinicians, physician-scientists and basic scientists to collaboratively use our technology and scientific expertise to improve the lives of patients with musculoskeletal disorders,” said Steven R. Goldring, M.D., chief scientific officer at HSS. “These NIH grants are focused on areas of translational research that are of particular importance and significance to patients who experience these conditions. The selection of HSS investigators for these highly competitive grants recognizes the excellence of our research programs and acknowledges the leadership of HSS in musculoskeletal research."

Dr. Bostrom, senior clinician-scientist in the Musculoskeletal Integrity Program will receive more than $1.5 million over four years for a study examining the mechanisms of bone integration in joint replacement surgery. While joint replacement technologies are advancing, some metallic joint implants still fail, which can lead to implant loosening, revision surgery and other patient complications. Dr. Bostrom and his team at Hospital for Special Surgery, including senior scientist Patrick Ross, Ph.D., biomechanical engineer Marjolein van der Meulen, Ph.D., and orthopedic fellows, will research therapies that could stimulate bone formation and prevent the breakdown of bones to provide better long-term results of joint replacement surgery.

Dr. Maher, assistant scientist in the Tissue Engineering, Regeneration and Repair Program, will receive nearly $1.5 million over four years to study the meniscus tissue in the knee and identify the properties of an ideal tissue replacement. Dr. Maher is collaborating with other Special Surgery researchers including Timothy Wright, Ph.D., on the mechanics of implants, as well as Hollis Potter, M.D., and Matthew Koff, Ph.D., on MRI screenings, and Russell Warren, M.D., on designing methods of implanting tissue substitutes as they become available. She is also working with colleagues at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ohio State University and Drexel University. The goal of this research is to develop a computational tool for evaluating and designing a variety of joint tissue substitutes.

Dr. Wright, director of the Biomechanics Program, will receive nearly $1.2 million over three years to study the performance of elbow replacements. In collaboration with Special Surgery orthopaedic surgeons Robert Hotchkiss, M.D., and Mark Figgie, M.D., as well as Hospital for Special Surgery biomechanical engineers, Dr. Wright aims to increase the understanding of the biomechanical, patient and surgical factors that lead to total elbow replacement failure. This research may ultimately help to predict problems in patients who have undergone such replacements and to develop new implant designs and surgical techniques that could improve patient results.


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


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