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Resident Research Overview

Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) has outstanding facilities for basic science research. With a full time staff headed by three PhDs, the research aspect of the CMC training program mirrors the clinical. There is virtually unlimited opportunity for those residents who are so inclined.

CMC Orthopaedics has an extremely active clinical research history, especially in orthopedic trauma. A newly created Division of Clinical Research is headed by Dr. Bosse and coordinates orthopedic clinical research at CMC. In addition, OrthoCarolina has a Research Institute staffed with professionals who can also assist residents with research projects.

At a minimum, each resident is expected to complete two research projects during his or her tenure. These projects will be presented at the end of the PGY-3 and PGY-5 years at the annual Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Spring Visiting Professorship. In reality, many CMC residents are more prolific. The list of faculty publications and presentations is available in the department annual report.

Research Fellowship

Each academic year, one resident is selected for the Research Fellowship, allowing them to spend 12 months pursuing orthopedic research. The content of the year for the Fellow is determined primarily by the interests of the individual resident, but generally is spent doing basic science, biomechanical and clinical studies. Many projects are handed down year to year from the preceding fellow. The research fellowship takes place following the 12 months of orthopedic internship and before the 48 months of orthopedic residency.  Residents interested in a significant academic career or in becoming a leader in the field of orthopedic surgery are encouraged to seek the optional research year of the fellowship. During this year, the resident is relieved of all clinical duties other than attending every morning conference.

Orthopedic Biology Research Laboratory

Led by Drs. Gruber and Sun, this lab offers residents opportunities to participate in clinically-relevant basic science research. Specific areas of study include intervertebral disc degeneration, osteoarthritis, fracture healing, and bone physiology. Our clinical faculty, including Dr. Hanley and Dr. Mauerhan, are intimately involved in this research enabling true translational research. On-site facilities include traditional bench laboratory set-ups and a full vivarium, both housed in the James G. Cannon Research Center.

Orthopedic Engineering Research Laboratory

This laboratory, led by Dr. Peindl, applies basic engineering principles to study the mechanics of human motion, implantable and external devices, and tissue design. Collaboration with clinical faculty, research faculty, other CMC departments and other institutions is common and welcomed. Specific studies have addressed fall prevention in the elderly with sensors that map patient motion during normal and destabilized gait, the growth of cartilage in bioreactors using patient specific chondrocytes and osmotic gradients, and robotic muscle-strength testing devices for patients with neuromuscular disease or post-traumatic limitations.

Orthopedic Clinical Research Department

The Orthopedic Clinical Research group (OCR) was developed to enhance the ability of the CMC Orthopedic Department to influence the direction of Orthopedic clinical care in the US. Drs. Bosse and Seymour lead the OCR Department with offices directly adjacent to CMC-Main. This CMC based facility also collaborates with the OrthoCarolina Research Institute enabling residents to easily engage in clinical research with all faculty members. Clinical research staff assistance with IRB’s, case-list generation, database access and statistical analysis is encouraged and readily available.

Already recognized as a pre-eminent leader in orthopedic clinical outcomes research and the nuclear site of numerous “against the grain” orthopedic clinical studies, CMC initiated a formal study section in 2007 to facilitate and enlarge the clinical effort. As a result, 40 IRB approved clinical projects are currently active. The studies are

sponsored by CMC, industry and national research consortiums. Most of the research is targeted to improve care with fewer complications and at a lower cost.

The Carolinas Medical Center is one of the core centers of the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium funded by the Department of Defense (metrc.org)  and is responsible for leading 3 of the 10 funded studies. The OCR Director, Michael Bosse MD, is the co-PI of the METRC and serves as the Clinical Chair and as the Chair of the Consortium’s Steering Committee.

Drs. Bosse and Seymour also serve as the directors for the Carolinas Trauma Network Research Center of Excellence. The Research Center of Excellence combines the talents and strengths of Carolinas Medical Center’s Departments of Emergency Medicine, General Surgery-Trauma, Orthopedic Surgery, Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurosciences and the R. Stuart Dickson Institute for Health Studies with those of the affiliated CHS medical centers. The Research Center of Excellence team considers injury research areas with established national funding mechanisms that impact the communities CHS serves. Initial key topics include: evaluation and treatment of patients with mild or moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and the evaluation and care of the geriatric trauma patient.

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