Saturday, March 10, 11AM – 1PM
Celestin A-C
Hyatt Regency New Orleans
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Open Door welcomes you to be part of the discussion and increase your awareness of recent research advances that could someday directly benefit you! Join us for a series of dynamic presentations on the latest innovations in osteoarthritis, low back pain and regenerative medicine.

Hosted by the Orthopaedic Research Society, we invite you a imagine a world without musculoskeletal limitations.


Presented by Farshid Guilak, PhD

Human tissues and organs have a limited capacity to regenerate themselves.  In particular, certain adult tissues such as articular cartilage, which lines the ends of bones to allow free joint movement, have virtually no ability to repair or regenerate.  Thus, joint injuries or diseases such as arthritis are the source of significant pain and disability, and few treatments exist for severe arthritis other than replacement of the joint with an artificial prosthesis made of metal and plastic.  Regenerative medicine is an exciting and rapidly growing area of research that seeks to harness the ability of living cells to create replacement tissues or organs that have been damaged by disease or injury.  This multidisciplinary field uses combinations of cells with biologically active materials, genes, and controlled chemical and physical signals to develop tissue replacements as new treatments for complex and often chronic diseases.  Here we will present some of the principles of regenerative medicine and show examples of recent breakthroughs that will hopefully lead to new therapies for arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases.

Presented by Linda Sandell, PhD

When we say Arthritis, we mean Osteoarthritis – the most prevalent form of arthritis.  Osteoarthritis affects 40% of people over 60 years old – that’s over 30 million people in the United States alone.  Currently there are no treatments except to relieve pain and eventually replace the joint.  But once you feel joint pain, or even get diagnosed with arthritis, does it inevitably have to lead to disability?  Is arthritis an inevitable result of growing older?  In this talk, I will review what happens to our joints when we get arthritis and review some of the risk factors for getting arthritis.  We will talk about assessing your risk for developing arthritis and measures you can take as an individual to reduce your chance of getting arthritis – and, finally, how to deal with it if you do get diagnosed with arthritis.

Presented by Edward J. Vresilovic, MD, PhD

Mechanical low back pain, the leading cause of disability, is multifactorial and complex.  Mechanical LBP is modulated by position and load; for example, particular postures (e.g., standing, sitting or bending) exacerbate pain in some patients and abate it in others.  The primary function of the intervertebral disc is to support spine position and load; and therefore, degeneration of this structure has long been identified as a likely source of mechanical LBP. Structural degeneration of the disc is non-invasively and readily evaluated by MRI, but unfortunately, these measures of structural changes have had very little success discriminating mechanical low back pain pathology from natural aging. This lack of the ability to discriminate pathology from natural aging has been at the center of many controversies in the treatment of low back pain. Since disc mechanics, and not solely structure, are the mechanical issue in mechanical low back pain, non-invasive techniques need to be developed to quantify disc mechanical function in the body, to predict the mechanical state throughout the disc, to determine mechanisms underlying the relationships between disc structure and mechanical function, and to establish a new degeneration classification system. MRI with functional loading holds promise for basic and clinical research to address mechanical consequences of disc degeneration and their relationship to mechanical low back pain, and in the longer term, for adaptation into a tool for LBP diagnosis and treatment evaluation.


Rick Sumner, PhD
President, Orthopaedic Research Society

Rick Sumner, PhD, is the Mary Lou Bell McGrew Presidential Professor for Medical Research and the Chairperson for the Department of Cell & Molecular Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. He has taught gross anatomy in medical and dental schools and has more than 25 years of NIH funding as a principal investigator on research, training and instrumentation grants. In addition to being President of the ORS, Dr. Sumner is a representative to the FASEB Training and Career Opportunities Subcommittee for the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, serves on the board of directors of the American Association of Anatomists, serves on the board of directors of the International Society for Bone Morphometry, and is the secretary-treasurer for the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurobiology Chairpersons. His research interests focus mainly on bone regeneration as related to orthopedic implants, understanding how matrix maturation contributes to bone quality, and the role of bone in osteoarthritis. He has expertise in small animal models, dynamic and static histomorphometry, scanning electron microscopy, micro computed tomography, and mechanical testing.

Anton Bowden, PhD

Anton E. Bowden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University. His background and research interests are in spinal biomechanics, biomedical device design, computational biomechanics, and engineering leadership education.  He directs the BYU Applied Biomechanics Engineering Laboratory.  He received his PhD in Bioengineering from University of Utah and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University.  He is a licensed professional engineer and a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.  He is grateful to have been awarded the Weidman Professorship in Leadership and enjoys serving in various committee capacities for the Orthopaedic Research Society.

Farshid Guilak, PhD
Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Farshid Guilak is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University, Director of Research for the St. Louis Shriners Hospitals for Children, and co-director of the Washington University Center of Regenerative Medicine.  He is the current Past-President of the Orthopaedic Research Society.  His laboratory studies how the joints and skeleton of the body develop under healthy or diseased conditions and uses this information as a basis for reprogramming adult stem cells to build new tissues and organs, particularly as the basis of new treatments for arthritis and other joint diseases.  He has published over 300 scientific articles and has co-edited four books.  He also the Founder and President of Cytex Therapeutics, a startup company focusing on developing new regenerative medicine therapies for musculoskeletal conditions.

Linda Sandell, PhD

Dr. Linda Sandell is the Mildred B. Simon Professor and Founding Director of the Core Centers for Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.  She has been a leader in the field of orthopaedic research, pioneering the use of molecular biologic techniques, large screening technologies, microscopy, computational biology and genetics to study cell responses to cartilage cell injury, the regulation of gene expression and osteoarthritis.  Dr. Sandell was President of the Orthopaedic Research Society in 1999-2000, co-founder of the ORS Women’s Leadership Forum and President of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (President 2010- 2013).  Dr. Sandell has been awarded the Kappa Delta Award for Basic Science Research by the American Association for Orthopaedic Surgeons (1999), the Women’s Leadership Forum Award (2010) and the Alfred R. Shands Jr, MD Award (2014) by the ORS, the Distinguished Investigator Award from the ORS (2016) and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the OARSI (2016) and the International Cartilage Repair Society (2017).  Dr. Sandell is currently Editor in Chief of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Edward J. Vresilovic, MD, PhD
Low Back Pain

Edward J. Vresilovic, M.D., Ph.D is a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University.  He is an active orthopaedic spine surgeon and a biomedical engineer with a longstanding research interest in the patho-mechanics of intervertebral disc degeneration and in restoration of disc mechanical function. He is co-founder of the Philadelphia Spine Research Society, which sponsors the largest international research meeting on the intervertebral disc biennially in partnership with the ORS. He has published over 100 papers, has more than 10 patents, and is the cofounder of two spine related startups.

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About the ORS

For over 60 years, the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) has been the leading research society supporting engineers, orthopaedic surgeons, biologists, and clinicians in pursuit of a world without musculoskeletal limitations.

The ORS continues to bring together the best researchers and surgeons in the world and gives them a community to share new research findings, discuss new ideas and to collaborate in new and innovative ways. The ORS offers programs that teach, mentor and encourage our members while inspiring them to move the field of orthopaedic research forward.

Learn more about how you can advocate for increased funding for musculoskeletal research.