Research Update March 2021

Take a look at recent announcements and news regarding AO Trauma NA research

18 March 2021

Research Committee Report

Gregory Della Rocca, MD, PhD, FACS

Gregory Della Rocca, MD, PhD, FACS

The AO Trauma North America Research Committee has stayed busy during the pandemic, continuing to consider applications for research funding.

We have pivoted to virtual meetings via electronic platforms (as many organizations have done in the recent past); this has allowed us to transact business while continuing to observe precautions necessary during the pandemic and while remaining at home with our patients, family, colleagues, and friends.

Kudos to Kelly McCormick (program manager) and the remainder of the AO North America staff, who have supported our efforts tirelessly.

During the summer, we received a total of 27 applications for funding intended to support resident research projects. A remarkable number of applications were of high quality, and the committee selected six for funding. In addition, we received a total of 29 applications for funding intended to support AO Trauma NA-supported trauma fellows.

Again, we were happy to see that the bulk of the applications were of highest-order quality. The committee selected ten of these applications for funding this year. The funded projects represented a substantial amount of preparatory work and insight on the part of the investigators and their mentors/co-investigators, as the projects are all expected to be completed within one year.

The combined AO Trauma NA/OTA research grant, which is awarded every other year to faculty-level applicants and represents up to $100,000 of funding over two years, received many excellent preproposals.

The review committee consisted of four OTA-selected members along with me, Josh Gary, and Mara Schenker (the composition of the combined review committee changes with each cycle, such that AO Trauma NA and OTA alternate having four vs. three members for each cycle).

We invited six full grant applications based upon preproposal scoring, and ultimately selected the recipient of the award during a virtual meeting in September.

After approval by the AO Trauma NA research committee and the OTA board, Dr. Justin Haller (PI) and Dr. Donald Anderson (co-PI) were awarded the 2020-2021 combined grant funding for their project entitled “Correlating Early Markers of Joint Health PROMIS-29 Following Tibial Plafond Fracture”.

The Kathryn Cramer, MD, Career Development Award is an annual funding mechanism for up to $15,000 for junior faculty, fellows, or residents to support trauma-related research projects. In 2020, the recipient was Dr. Christopher Langhammer, for his project entitled “Upper-Extremity Trauma Telerehabilitation Noninferiority Study: U-TRNS”. Considering the current pandemic, the proposed research is not only highly interesting but also quite timely.

By the time you read this newsletter, the AO Trauma NA Young Investigator Research Development award applications will have closed. Your research committee, at the time of this writing, is looking forward to reviewing the applications for this relatively new award mechanism (launched last year).

It is our pleasure to serve AO Trauma North America by supporting research efforts of our members. The current committee includes Josh Gary, Leah Gitajn, Mara Schenker, and Brian Mullis. As you are likely aware, Josh is currently the committee chair-elect, and will succeed me on July 1, 2021. Without question, the committee will remain in capable hands and populated with motivated and dedicated members moving forward.

Resident Research Support Winners

All the Resident Research applicants have been notified.  The following are the winners and their research topics. 

Project Title Name Institution
Antibiotic elution and local tissue environment properties of vancomycin-coated magnesiumalloy implants designed for infection treatment in bone or soft tissue infections Ryan Guilbault Johns Hopkins University
Weightbearing CT as a validation method for in vivo assessment of fracture site motion in distal femur fractures treated with bridged locking plate constructs William Crutcher University of Washington
4DCT Analysis of Syndesmotic Motion after Posterior Malleolus Fixation Murray Wong University of Calgary, Calgary
Does Time to Debridement Predict Infection: A Study Using the SIGN Surgical Database Abigail Cortez UCLA Medical Center

Young Investigator Research Development Award Winners

Congratulations to Dr. Adam Boissonneault, trauma fellow at R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, and Dr. L. Henry Goodnough, trauma fellow at Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington, as the recipients of the AO Trauma North America 2020 Young Investigator Research Development Awards! 

The AO Trauma North America Research Committee created and developed this award as a unique offering intended to foster the development of research interests in qualified AO Trauma North America fellows, with funding intended to carry forward into their first years of post-fellowship practice. 

As part of the program, the awardees present their research proposals to the AO Trauma NA Research Committee, where they receive input and guidance followed by periodic monitoring.

The program also provides support for attending grant writing workshops, OTA and One AO meetings, and other ad-hoc research meetings deemed important by the fellows and the research committee.

This award follows the graduating fellows into their first year of post-fellowship practice, where they may initiate or continue their research with this AO Trauma NA funding support.

The Young Investigator Research Development Award is now in its 2nd year and the research continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned as these AO Trauma NA supported investigators grow into accomplished clinician scientists performing research that impacts trauma patient outcomes throughout the world.

Kathryn Cramer Career Development Award Call for Applications

The application for the Kathryn Cramer Career Development award is now open. This award honors the memory of outstanding clinician and educator Kathryn Cramer, MD by providing orthopedic traumatologists with the financial support to pursue research early in their careers.

Application period ends April 30, 2021.

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