Current Trends in the Treatment of Tendinopathies

Organized by the ORS Public Outreach Committee

The Ask the Experts Interview Series aims to leverage basic science and clinical perspectives and expertise in addressing challenging and/or timely topics in orthopaedic research. The goal is to provide accessible information to the general public.

For this second installment of the series, the focus will be on current trends in the treatment of tendinopathies.

Speakers

Dr. Karin Grävare Silbernagel
Professor and Associate Chair at the Department of Physical Therapy
University of Delaware

Karin Grävare Silbernagel PT, ATC, PhD is a Professor and Associate Chair at the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE USA. She is a clinical scientist with a strong record of mentoring clinical scientists. Her expertise is in orthopaedics and musculoskeletal injury with a focus on tendon and ligament injury. She has been a physical therapist for over 30 years and performed research for over 20 years. At University of Delaware, she is the principal investigator of the Delaware Tendon Research Group and the Delaware ACL Research Group. Her work has been directly integrated into the clinical guidelines for treatment of patients with tendon injuries. She has presented her research at numerous conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals (150+ published articles to date). She has also been invited to speak about her research at conferences nationally and internationally. As the principal investigator of Tendon Research Group at the University of Delaware, she is working to advance understanding of tendon injuries and repair so that tailored treatments can be developed. Her research approach is to evaluate tendon health and recovery by quantifying tendon composition, structure, and mechanical properties, as well as patients’ impairments and symptoms. Her research is funded by the NIH, Foundation for Physical Therapy, Swedish Research Council for Sport Science, and Swedish Research Council.

Dr. Neal L. Millar
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Neal L. Millar, PhD, FRCS(Ed), is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and an Academic Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the University of Glasgow. He specializes in shoulder surgery and tendon injuries, having completed fellowships in Sydney and New York. His laboratory’s research focuses on the immunopathogenesis and translational immunobiology of soft tissue musculoskeletal diseases, including tendinopathy. Dr. Millar has played a key role in leading and designing clinical trials of novel therapies for human tendon disease. He successfully completed a worldwide Phase II clinical trial of IL-17A blockade in shoulder tendinopathy patients, following his laboratory’s discovery of the key role of IL-17 in tendon disease. Furthermore, his discovery of a single microRNA dependent regulatory pathway in early tissue healing highlights a microRNA replacement therapy as a promising therapeutic option for human tendon disease. Currently, Currently, this approach is in Phase I human development, representing true ‘translational’ science. In addition to his research contributions, Dr. Millar runs a specialist ‘One stop’ complex tendon clinic in the NHS, focusing on improving the treatment of tendinopathy.

Committee Moderators

Dr. Jason Marvin
Postdoctoral Researcher
Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital
ORS Public Outreach Chair

Dr. Jason (Chang) Marvin is a Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) & Harvard Medical School. They received their B.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from The University of Texas at Dallas and Cornell University, respectively. Under the supervision of Dr. Nelly Andarawis-Puri, his doctoral research identified candidate protein regulators of mammalian tendon regeneration using the super-healer Murphy Roths Large (MRL/MpJ) mouse strain. Their postdoctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Jenna Galloway leverages zebrafish and stem cell models to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. As an aspiring independent investigator, they aim to complement their bioengineering skillset with genetic and developmental biology approaches to uniquely guide the development of mechanistically-informed therapeutic interventions for promoting effective tendon healing. Their research, scientific contributions, and advocacy have been recognized with the 2023 ORS New Investigator Recognition Award, 2022 ORS Tendon Section 3-Minute Thesis First Prize, ORS/ON Education Grant, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and Cornell Provost Diversity Fellowship among many other teaching, mentoring, and research presentation awards.

Dr. Stephanie Cone
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
University of Delaware

Dr. Stephanie Cone is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. She completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill prior to pursuing postdoctoral training in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her research program aims to study structure-function relationships in tendons and ligaments, with a focus on the native changes inherent to healthy growth and regenerative tissue changes following injury and clinical intervention.

Acknowledgements

A special thank you to the following individuals who organized this content, which was also part of the 2023 ORS Annual Meeting Symposium:

Kathleen Derwin, PhD
Cleveland Clinic

Chad Carroll, PhD
Purdue University