The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at IU School of Medicine has a strong commitment to medical research. The department has approved $5.4 million in research funding and is pending another $3.5 million. Faculty investigators exercise dynamic leadership in their supervisory roles of mentoring, collaborating with and directing junior colleagues, staff, residents and students at all levels. Research is conducted with the highest regard to ethical and regulatory practices without consideration of funding sources.
The Collier Lab is dedicated to understanding the intersection of orthopaedics and cancer. The lab’s primary research explores cachexia-related muscle and bone dysfunction in metastatic renal cell carcinoma to bone; and the efficacy and mechanistic basis for epigenetic therapies in osteosarcoma.
The Greenfield Lab’s long-standing research interests focus on basic and translational aspects of bone biology, and on osteosarcoma metastasis. The osteosarcoma project aims to repurpose FDA-approved drugs to block growth of lung metastases, which is the primary cause of lethality in osteosarcoma patients.
The Kacena Lab is exploring the interaction of the bone and hematopoietic systems to improve the treatment of metabolic bone disease, hematopoietic disorders and fracture healing. To achieve this goal, the Kacena Lab focuses on the role of megakaryocytes, megakaryocyte growth factors and their receptors in bone homeostasis.
The Schlecht Lab studies the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, including its development, function and response to loading. The overarching goals of research in the Schlecht Lab is to develop new clinical diagnostics for ACL injury prevention in adolescent and young adult recreational and competitive athletes, and to improve primary ACL reconstruction outcomes.
The department’s original research initiative began in 1967 when James B. Wray, MD, established basic science research in orthopaedics, which continued under National Institutes of Health support until 1984. In 1990, this initiative was rekindled with the establishment of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Research Center and the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory at the IU School of Medicine–Indianapolis campus. Today, the orthopaedic research effort is supported by dozens of research grants from the NIH, private foundations and biomedical companies, making it one of the fastest growing fields at IU School of Medicine.
A coordinated group of laboratories within Indiana University School of Medicine, known as Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, conduct focused research on tissues within the musculoskeletal system, including bone, cartilage, tendon and ligaments. The research endeavors of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery are supported by highly skilled research faculty and state-of-the-art facilities. Faculty researchers within the department are also involved with several clinical trials at Eskenazi Health, including active studies in the field of orthopaedic trauma, bone healing and regeneration, biomechanics and joint replacement.
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery collaborates extensively with other IU School of Medicine departments and IU schools located on the Indianapolis campus. Current collaborations include research studies with the departments of pediatrics, anatomy, microbiology, internal medicine, pathology and laboratory medicine, cellular and integrative physiology, and the IU School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as the schools of dentistry, engineering.