Upstate News

January 27, 2002
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate’s orthopedics surgery department awarded $2.7 million in grants

Six faculty members of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University have been awarded $2.7 million to fund research on a variety of topics related to the musculoskeletal system. Most of the research will be conducted in Upstate’s Institute for Human Performance.

“The grants signify the stature of our faculty and research program in orthopedics, as well as acknowledge the state of the art facilities available at our Institution,” said Stephen Albanese, M.D., chairman of orthopedics at SUNY Upstate.

Matthew J. Allen, Ph.D., assistant professor of orthopedics, received $545,997 from Stryker-Howmedica-Osteonics Inc. to investigate how bone tissue responds to new implant surface coatings. The new coatings, which are to be used on the metallic components in total joint replacements, are designed to improve the fixation of the metal implant to bone. Allen hopes to find that enhanced bone fixation that is possible with the new coatings will lead to significant improvements in the long term performance of implants used in total hip and knee replacements.

David C. Ayers, M.D., associate professor of orthopedics and director of the joint replacement service, received $100,000 from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation to develop and conduct a psychological assessment of total joint replacement patients. Patients with a lower mental health rating may have difficulty making a successful recovery after the operation. The assessment would help physicians develop a program prior to surgery that may address the patient’s mental health needs.

Timothy A. Damron, M.D., associate professor of orthopedics, received a $714,892 grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Instituteto study how to lessen the side effects of radiotherapy, a treatment for childhood malignancies that often results in complications in a growing limb, such as crippling limb length or angular deformity.

Kenneth A. Mann, Ph.D., associate professor of orthopedics and director of the orthopedic research laboratory, received $862,410 from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to study the failure of total joint replacements. In his study, Mann will analyze the mechanical conditions that cause hip replacement failures. The research hopes to lead to new surgical and design guidelines that will help reduce the need for re-operation of cemented hip replacements due to implant loosening.

Amos Race, Ph.D., assistant professor of orthopedics, received a $151,300 grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to quantify and map fractures caused by fatigue of the cement mantle surrounding total hip replacements. His study will provide new detailed knowledge about the failure process and provide a new direction of research to prevent loosening of cemented total hip replacements.

Tamara A. Scerpella, M.D., associate professor of orthopedics, received $340,425 from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to assess whether the increase in bone mass due to physical activity in the pubertal girls, such those participating in and training for gymnastics, is key to maintaining bone mass to skeletal maturity. The study will suggest whether increased physical activity during a girl’s youth may help prevent osteoporosis.

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