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 Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology, and No. 16 in neurology by U.S.News & World Report (2010-11), and has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2010, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. A member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS provides orthopedic and rheumatologic patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. All Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at http://www.hss.edu/.

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