ORS Spine Section at Annual Meeting

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ORS Spine Section at Annual Meeting 2017-04-26T14:05:13+00:00

ORS Spine Section 2017 Meeting

Meeting Organizers

Judith Hoyland, PhD, Section Chair Elect
James Iatridis, PhD, Section Chair
Christine Le Maitre, PhD, Section Secretary
Jeff Lotz, PhD, Section Treasurer
Devina Purmessur, PhD, Section Membership Chair
Makarand Risbud, PhD, Section Research Chair
Daisuke Sakai, MD, PhD, Section Membership Chair
Nam Vo, PhD, Section Education Chair

The ORS Spine Section Meeting was held on Sunday, March 19 in San Diego, California featuring symposia on:

IVD Tissue Engineering Objectives and Evaluation

Symposium 1: IVD Tissue Engineering Objectives and Evaluation

Rita Kandel’s “In Vitro Models of Tissue Integration: Towards Engineering a Functional Disc Replacement” opened the symposium and described her team’s efforts towards designing disc/vertebra interfaces and functionally graded tissues for disc tissue engineering.

Rob Mauck’s “Promise, Progress, and Problems in Whole Disc Tissue Engineering” discussed whole disc tissue engineering in small and large animal models, describing many of the hurdles that were overcome in his lab’s efforts in biological total disc replacement.

Conor Buckley’s “Cells and Injectable Biomaterials – Engineering for the Disc Microenvironment” summarized work towards hydrogel microparticle and stem cell therapies for disc regeneration, and spoke of stem cell cryopreservation as well as the nutritional challenges facing tissue engineering approaches to disc regeneration.


  • Conor Buckley, PhD, Trinity College Dublin,
  • Rita Kandel, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Robert Mauck, PhD, University of Pennsylvania


  • Ben Gantenbein, PhD, University of Bern
  • Judith Hoyland, PhD, University of Manchester
  • Grace O’Connell, PhD, University of California, Berkley

Clinical Opportunities for Technological Solutions to Address IVD Degeneration and Spine Pain

Symposium 2: Clinical Opportunities for Technological Solutions to Address IVD Degeneration and Spine Pain

Lara Silverman’s “Translating Cell Therapies for Low Back Pain from Animal to Human Testing; An Industry Perspective“ demonstrated her company’s history bringing a cell therapy for disc degeneration to market, addressing regulatory steps for demonstrating proof of concept, safety, evaluating efficacy in animal models,  control of manufacture and clinical plan.

Dai Sakai’s “Regenerative Medicinal Products for Low Back Pain: Global Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Trials” highlighted market opportunities and status of clinical trials for cell therapies for chronic discogenic pain, and compared regulatory expectations for bringing cell therapy to market between Europe, Asia and USA.

Gwen Sowa’s “Barriers and Opportunities to Translate Biologic Therapies for IDD” discussed her group’s challenges and successes with gene and stem cell therapies for disc regeneration in the rabbit model, as well as the promise of serum biomarkers for back pain patient identification and optimizing of timing of therapy.


  • Dai Sakai, MD, PhD, Tokai University School of Medicine
  • Lara Silverman, PhD, DiscGenics
  • Gwen Sowa, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


  • Nadeen Chahine, PhD , Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
  • James Iatridis, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
  • Devina Purmessur, PhD, The Ohio State University
Meeting Agenda

ORS Spine Section Social Hour

ORS Spine Section Members and other attendees gathered on the evening of Sunday, March 19 for a networking reception.

Be on the lookout for more information about the 2018 Section Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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