Bonassar Lab Ph.D. student receives grant for research spun out of summer immersion term
Congratulations to Rebecca Irwin, a Ph.D. student in the Bonassar Lab, who was awarded a grant from the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) based on research she performed during her 2017 summer immersion term at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).
Ms. Irwin was awarded the grant with Dr. John Kennedy of HSS, for a project entitled “The Effect of Platelet Rich Plasma and Tribosupplementation in Osteochondral Lesions Treated with Microfracture: An in vivo Rabbit Model.” The will test the hypothesis that decreased friction improves integration of repaired cartilage with native host tissue by decreasing shear stresses during repaired cartilage development. If tribosupplemntation aids in cartilage repair, this information could alter the clinical approach to osteochondral lesion repair and directly impact treatment options for patients.
Ms. Irwin credits her summer immersion term as the catalyst for this award. By working with Dr. Kennedy’s team at HSS, she was able to connect the mechanics and joint lubrication studies knowledge she gained working with Meinig School Professor Larry Bonassar to Dr. Kennedy’s research specializing in biologics and joint supplementation to protect cartilage. Beyond this, the term also granted her insight into the clinical knowledge of common defects and where new therapeutics were needed in the field. “The collaboration,” says Irwin, “allowed us to combine Dr. Kennedy's medical expertise with the mechanical testing methods and equipment used in the Bonassar lab to go further than macroscopic or histological evaluations of the repaired cartilage.” This unique experience of combined expertise led the team to propose using different supplementations (specifically lubricin) to investigate the effects on osteochondral healing in a rabbit model previously used by Dr. Kennedy, resulting in the awarded grant.
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