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    Innovation Through Leading Edge Research

UC Davis Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has a rich and storied history of musculoskeletal investigation. We foster our new growth by intra and extra-departmental collaborations across the medical and main campuses. Academic orthopaedic surgeons, musculoskeletal focused physicians, as well as mechanistic scientists are a driving force in research to ensure that our investigations address patient needs and provide practical solutions for improving their care.

The 8,000 square-foot center houses a machine shop, materials testing laboratory, cell and molecular biology laboratory, histology laboratory, tissue culture facilities, microscopy laboratory and microsurgery suite. Computing facilities are available for mathematical modeling of mechanical stresses in skeletal structures and implants. In addition, the laboratories use an outstanding animal research facility at the 160-acre Animal Resources Service facility on the Davis campus. The laboratory staff includes seven basic science faculty, administrative staff, two technicians and typically a dozen postgraduate researchers: fellows, residents, visiting scholars, medical students, and graduate students.

UC Davis provides a rich environment for biomedical research. It is the site of the esteemed University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine — the largest veterinary school in the nation; the world-renown California National Primate Research Center; and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, recent recipient of a $12 million Whitaker Foundation Leadership/Development grant that triggers some $35 million in matching funds. The Facility for Advanced Instrumentation provides access to a variety of sophisticated research equipment. Research collaborations have involved the Departments of Veterinary Pathology, Mechanical Engineering, Animal Science, Chemical Engineering and Material Science and Biomedical Engineering.

Learn more about the orthopaedic surgery research faculty and their research areas of interest.  Also learn about the research of all faculty, including our clinical faculty.

Mauro M. Giordani, M.D.

Total joint arthroplasty, knee and hip abductor tendinopathy/tears.

Gavin C.T. Pereira, M.B.B.S. 

3D printed bone models for preoperative surgical planning and resident training; computer navigation and knee kinematics; short femoral stems in hip replacements; infections in joint replacements.

Eric Giza, M.D.

Clinical application of juvenile articular cartilage allografts for osteochondral defects in the talus; arthroscopic approaches to lateral ligament stabilization; bioscaffold treatments for articular cartilage defects; arthroscopic approaches to syndesmosis stabilization; radiographic changes in foot x-rays with progressive weight-bearing; biomechanical testing of Lisfranc injury fixation methods.

Christopher D. Kreulen, M.D.

Surgical treatment of osteochondral defects of the talus; use of bone marrow aspirate in orthopaedic surgery; advancing the techniques in Achilles surgery and rehabilitation.

Robert M. Szabo, M.D.

Dynamic MRI imaging during wrist and forearm motion to assess carpal kinematics; hypermobility of the trapeziometacarpal joint of the thumb in hand osteoarthritis; improvement of clinical care of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Christopher O. Bayne, M.D.

Biomechanics, imaging, and surgical treatment of carpal instability; microvascular skeletal reconstruction for the treatment of traumatic bony defects a nonunion.

Robert H. Allen, M.D.

Nerve regeneration after trauma.

Rolando F. Roberto, M.D.

Infections in spinal surgery; adult sagittal plane deformity correction with osteotomy pedicle subtraction; opiate sparing multimodal pain management protocols in pediatric and adult spinal surgery; implementation of a universal protocol to reduce surgical site infection in pediatric patients; cost and complications associated with the use of autologous iliac crest bone graft compared to rhBMP-2.

Eric O. Klineberg, M.D.

I am very invested in clinical outcomes research, particularly in the setting of spinal deformity.  Much of this work is focused on spinopelvic parameters, sagittal balance and the influence of deformity correction on patient outcomes.  Much of this work is now referenced, and is a guideline for deformity correction around the globe.  More information on the International Spine Study Group (ISSG) may be found online at SpineDeformityBlog.com.
 
My basic science research focus is on stem cells for bone regeneration, the biology of spine fusion, and characterization of disc degeneration. Ultimately the goal is to derive biological and biomechanical solutions to provide an optimal fusion or regeneration platform that will consist of matrix, cells and proteins. Many different collaborators are involved in this research endeavor.

Brian M. Haus, M.D. 

Non-surgical and surgical outcomes of pediatric sports injuries.

Richard A. Marder, M.D.

Prospective, randomized study of rotator cuff syndrome using subacromial bursa; biomechanics of medial patellofemoral ligament repair in reconstruction.

Cassandra A. Lee, M.D.

Tissue engineering for articular cartilage defects; integration of self-assembled cartilage constructs for trochlear defects in rabbits.

James Van den Bogaerde, M.D.

Anatomic, biomechanical and clinical outcome studies in knee, shoulder and elbow surgery.

Steven W. Thorpe, M.D.

Outcomes and innovations in limb sparing surgery for treatment of bone and soft tissue sarcoma;  outcomes and innovations in pelvic resections and reconstruction for sarcoma of the pelvis; determination of the role of cancer stem cells in the propagation and development of metastases and relapse in bone and soft tissue sarcoma.

Philip R. Wolinsky, M.D.

Healing and non-healing acute fractures: are these differences in mesenchymal stem cells; clinical investigations to predict non-unions in traumatic fractures.

Mark A. Lee, M.D.

Adipose-derived and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells in treatment of atrophic nonunions in rats; BMPs and biomechanics of fracture healing.

Jonathan G. Eastman, M.D.

Implant biomechanics and compression techniques with specific interest in pelvic injury and stabilization models.

Ellen P. Fitzpatrick, M.D.

Functional and clinical outcomes following orthopaedic trauma surgery, lower extremity peri-articular trauma, implant biomechanics.

Blaine A. Christiansen, Ph.D.

Mechanisms of post-traumatic osteoarthritis, bone adaptation to mechanical stimuli, systemic bone response to bone fracture, effect of age in bone mechano-adaptation, advanced imaging of musculoskeletal structure and metabolism.

David P. Fyhrie, Ph.D.

Bone and cartilage mechanical properties and risk of osteoporotic fractures; mechanical failure of collagenous structures and rejection of water: implications for bone fracture.

Dominik R. Haudenschild, Ph.D.

We study early responses to joint injury to learn about the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis and to identify intervention strategies.  We study chondrocyte mechanobiology to understand how mechanical forces are translated into biochemical responses.  We study cartilage matricellular proteins to gain insight into how cells interact with growth factors and the extracellular matrix.
 
We use animal models of joint injury and bone formation, explant models of osteochondral injuries, stem-cell based tissue engineering, and 3-axis bioreactors to mechanically stimulate hydrogel-embedded chondrocytes and stem cells.
 
We apply the knowledge to translational studies. Example: Intervene with inflammatory gene expression upon joint injury to prevent or delay OA. Example: Enhance BMP-mediated bone regeneration by presenting the growth factor in a biologically relevant context on matricellular proteins.

J. Kent Leach, Ph.D.

Identification of signals for optimal bone formation; enhancement of bone differentiation by cell-secreted extracellular matrix; secretion of proangiogenic factors in vivo angiogenesis; cell instructive materials to direct stem cell fate for bone formation and regeneration; soluble and insoluble stimuli to promote bone formation; bioreactor design and usage to generate osteogenic grafts.

A. Hari Reddi, Ph.D.

Stem cells for chondrogenesis: isolation from bone marrow, muscle and synovium; tissue engineering and regeneration of articular cartilage; engineering lubrication in tissue engineered cartilage.