|L to R: Front row - Andrea Roberts, PhD; Synthia Bethea, BS; Gretchen Hoelscher, MS, Helen Gruber, PhD; Second row - Khristina Gellar, BS; Darla Morton, MS, Frank Riley, MS; Back row - Jane Ingram, BS, Yubo Sun, PhD, Natalia Zinchenko, BS
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Carolinas Medical Center is a nationally recognized program including clinical care, education and research. CMC’s Orthopaedic Surgery program has been rated among the Top 50 such programs in the country by U.S.News & World Report in its annual survey. Under the direction of Edward N. Hanley, MD, Chairman, a full range of orthopedic services is provided, including his special interest of spinal diseases and surgery. The educational program provides a fully accredited, five-year residency training program. The department sponsors a wide range of research into diseases of the bones and connective tissues. In biological and engineering laboratories, as well as in clinical settings, researchers are conducting a wide range of programs to improve our understanding of disease processes, and to develop and test therapeutic interventions.
The Orthopaedic Biology Research Laboratory offers Orthopaedic Surgery Residents the opportunity to participate in clinically-focused basic science research in disc degeneration, osteoarthritis and bone fracture healing and bone physiology. Current projects investigate disc degeneration, cell senescence in the aging and degenerating disc, crystal formation in osteoarthritis, changes in the growth plate following fracture, importance of magnesium intake in bone health and osteoporosis, and direction of adult mesenchymal stem cells to a disc-like phenotype. Helen E. Gruber, PhD (Director), Yubo Sun, PhD (Senior Scientist), Hazel Tapp, PhD (Senior Research Analyst), and Edward N. Hanley, Jr., MD (Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery) direct externally and internally funded research efforts in this laboratory.
Mission Statement: To discover and disseminate scientific information supporting the translational link between research and patient care.
Osteoarthritis research is being carried out by Yubo Sun, PhD, and David Mauerhan, MD; Drs. Hanley and Gruber also participate in this work. Research projects focus upon cellular interactions in osteoarthritis in the knee, and therapeutic interventions based on cellular functions and biomechanical forces are being developed.
The Brooks Center for Back Pain Research
The Brooks Center for Back Pain Research is in the forefront of disc cell tissue culture, molecular, and histopathologic studies of the human intervertebral disc. Established in 2007 by the generosity of W. Lester Brooks, Jr., MD, donations for this research endowment now total $2,000,000. Edward N. Hanley, MD, and Helen E. Gruber, PhD, direct this Center; Drs. Hanley and Gruber have authored over 45 peer-reviewed major scientific publications on disc degeneration since 1997; Dr. Hanley is an internationally recognized leader in spine surgery and Dr. Gruber a recognized cell biologist in the study of bone, cartilage and disc tissue. Our laboratory is a pioneer in developing techniques to grow human disc cells in tissue culture, and in the development of tissue engineering methodologies to test disc cell behavior and response to biologics.
Helen E. Gruber, PhD, Director
Yubo Sun, PhD, Senior Scientist
Shankari Somayaji, PhD, Senior Research Analyst
Khristina Bretthauer, Staff Assistant
Jane Ingram, BS, Lab Supervisor
Natalia Zinchenko, BS, Research Tech III
Gretchen Hoelscher, MS, Senior Research Analyst
Ryan Phillips, BS, Research Tech II
Frank Riley, MS, Research Tech II
Synthia Bethea, BS, Research Tech II
Atiya Franklin, BS, Research Tech II
Contact Information: Helen E. Gruber, PhD