RIGs foster the thoughtful exchange of ideas within the global multi-disciplinary community of the ORS by providing the opportunity to engage in informative, transformative, and live discussion with colleagues in a specific area of musculoskeletal research, whether basic, applied, clinical, and/or orthopaedic. To explore content that is complementary or different to the ORS Annual Meeting, RIGs are encouraged to focus on unique approaches, methodologies, diseases, or connections that inspire brainstorming across our multi-disciplinary groups.

Saturday, February 5

This Research Interest Group has been canceled. 

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

mRNA – A New Class of Drugs for Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration?

This RIG will offer an outstanding discussion on the latest advances in mRNA therapeutics and the challenges that this drug may face when applied to musculoskeletal tissue regeneration among three outstanding speakers. Professor Drew Weissman pioneered the discovery of nucleoside modifications to suppress mRNA immunogenicity. His work has revolutionized the field of mRNA therapeutics, and it was instrumental for the development of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna. Professor Chris Evans has profound experience in the uses of gene therapy as technology platform to solve clinical problems involving bones and joints. He is the lead investigator in an ongoing clinical trial for the administration of sc-rAAV2.5IL-1Ra, a gene therapy carried by a virus, into the knee joint of patients with osteoarthritis. He has been acknowledged as father of musculoskeletal gene therapy. Professor John Cooke has a deep knowledge in fundamental and translational research, with particular emphasis in vascular regeneration. He has developed numerous therapeutic molecules to address various diseases. He is the founder of a Center for RNA Therapeutics that generates mRNA constructs for stem cell and cancer communities. They have experience in the synthesis, purification, validation, and delivery of RNA Therapeutics, for basic and clinical research.

At the end of this session, attendees will have learned about the advantages of mRNA applied to musculoskeletal repair. In particular, progression in fracture healing will be presented. In addition, remaining challenges of mRNA for this application will be presented and discussed. The attendees will have a unique opportunity to discuss these challenges with the keynote speakers. Possible solutions to tackle present challenges will be presented and discussed. Specifically, application of mRNA for protein expression; advantages of mRNA vs. DNA therapeutics; application of mRNA to musculoskeletal repair: State-of-the art and future perspective; needs and challenges in translating mRNA therapeutics to patient care for musculoskeletal repair

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Advance the Science underpinning Foot and Ankle Care by Promoting Communication and Fostering Collaborations

Four specific topics will be addressed during this 2-hour session which include: operative treatment, kinematics/kinetics, diagnosis and imaging, and foot and ankle disorders. Participants in this session can expect to get new insights in foot and ankle biomechanics, diagnoses and treatment, to get a better understanding of normal versus abnormal foot and ankle conditions and related biomechanical and diagnostic measurements, and to assess the research topics that are of interest and/or most relevant.

With support provided by:

Sunday, February 6

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Computational Modeling: A Critical and Complementary Tool for Advancing Orthopaedic Research

The objective of this session is to encourage ORS members to seek out new cross-disciplinary collaborations that integrate computational modeling tools into preclinical and clinical studies. Attendees will learn how to identify opportunities to integrate computational model-driven outcome measures into preclinical and clinical studies. The speakers will include practical examples of how models can provide insights not obtainable with other approaches. Speakers will also discuss their approaches to the challenge of developing easily interpretable model outputs. At the conclusion of the session, we will provide participants with a link to a survey asking about their modeling interests (tools and techniques), application areas (alignment with ORS program topics), and interests for future ORS Annual Meeting programming.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Connecting OA Phenotypes and Treatments: New insights Comparing Joint-Specific OA Pathology

This session will differentiate among OA pathology in the shoulder, hand, hip, and spine and comprehend their relation to knee OA, gain an appreciation for unique mechanical and molecular signatures of joint-specific OA phenotypes, and integrate basic and clinical research perspectives of OA pathologies to develop innovative translational strategies targeted to specific OA phenotypes.

Monday, February 7

7:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Mechanobiology of Cartilage in the Context of Osteoarthritis and its Role in Regenerative Therapies

This RIG will focus on cartilage mechanobiology and its role in regenerative therapies in the context of osteoarthritis. The RIG will feature renown invited speakers aiming to foster the interchange of knowledge and to discuss new and cutting-edge approaches that help to understand how the mechanical environment contributes to cartilage health and disease at cell and tissue level. At the end of the meeting, there will be time for interactive interdisciplinary discussion, brainstorming and questions.

We expect participants of this RIG will work together and to define pathways to move multi-scale cartilage mechanobiology research forward.


11:15 AM – 12:45 PM

Musculoskeletal Infection: Bridging Science to Clinical Practice

The Musculoskeletal Infection RIG will focus on practical aspects and potential therapy in infection management. In addition to an update of the ongoing consensus workgroup effort, there will be thought‐provoking subsections of the program discussing (1) how to transition in‐vitro biofilm research to in‐vivo testing (keynote), (2) the practical value of the fundamental biofilm formation theory ‘race to the surface’ (debate), (3) clinicians’ view of unmet needs in managing infections, and (4) new frontiers in the fight against infectious organisms including bacteriophage therapy, the potential of mRNA technologies and the use of the microbiome. We aim the program to be both informative and challenging to all levels of ORS attended including students, post‐graduate trainees and faculty.


*RIG schedule is subject to change.