New research effort to translate basic science into faster bone healing

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center have received a $7.8 million grant to speed the conversion of basic bone science into new treatments that prevent arthritis, improve fracture healing and save limbs. In one case, the research aims to confirm preliminary findings that a handful of patients, previously confined to wheelchairs by fractures that would not heal, were able to walk again after receiving a drug treatment that finally healed the bone.

The award is the first of its kind, a Center of Research Translation (CORT) grant in orthopaedics from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. It is part of a larger effort by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fast-track basic scientific findings into meaningful clinical treatments (translational research). With this latest grant, the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the Medical Center becomes the best funded of its kind in the nation in terms of NIH research dollars, according to a new ranking for the most recent NIH fiscal year.

The Rochester CORT will explore new ways to heal trauma to bone and cartilage caused by aging and injury. About 3.6 million Americans suffer trauma to bones or soft tissue each year, with the worst damage caused by car crashes, gunshot wounds and falls. The number of orthopaedic injuries has increased in recent years as baby boomers age, and as U.S. soldiers in Iraq continue to suffer severe injuries.

"We are getting close to the point where decades of research finally pay off in new treatments that restore trauma patients' ability to walk and use their limbs," said Randy N. Rosier, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the Medical Center. "We believe our new center will play a key role in a nationwide effort to reverse long-term disability," said Rosier, also principal investigator for the grant.

Research Highlights

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Contact: Greg Williams
University of Rochester Medical Center

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