Orthopaedic Research Faculty and Staff

 Research Faculty and Staff in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

  

Beth Paterson Smith, PhD

Beth Paterson Smith, PhD, the Director of the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, supervises and directs the day-to-day operations of the laboratory by assisting faculty members and residents in planning and completing grant applications; developing experimental protocols and research models to address research questions; organizing data collection strategies; seeking collaborations with faculty in other departments to facilitate specific research goals, providing appropriate assistance with statistical analysis; and assisting with the preparation of manuscripts.  Personnel (residents, medical students, and graduate students) involved in various research areas work under the direction of the various orthopaedic faculty members with Dr. Smith serving as a facilitator to expedite the completion of the various research initiatives.  Dr. Smith has over 20 years of experience in designing and implementing clinical trials to study orthopaedic pathologies and possible interventions.  Dr. Smith is an adjunct professor in the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Translational Science Institute, and the Center for Nanotechnology.

  
  

Thomas L. Smith, PhD

Thomas L. Smith, PhD:  Dr. Smith serves as a basic science mentor to the residents in translational studies in Orthopaedic Surgery.  He provides advice on experimental design, project execution, interpretation of results, as well as selection of appropriate experimental models to address scientific hypotheses.  In addition, he serves as a liaison with other scientists and departments within the university to facilitate and fulfill the residents' and fellows' research goals.  Dr. Smith also offers instruction in microsurgical techniques and experimental animal surgery.  He has extensive experience in survival surgery techniques in rodents, rabbits, pigs, and dogs as well as expertise in nerve/muscle physiology and control of the circulation of the hands and feet.  Dr. Smith is an associate faculty member in the Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Molecular and Translational Medicine and the Hypertension Center.

  
  

Eben A. Carroll, PhD

Eben A. Carroll, MD:  Dr. Carroll is the principal investigator for the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC) at our Medical Center.  This consortium, supported by the Department of Defense, has established a network of clinical sites to perform clinical outcome studies to develop treatment guidelines for managing high energy extremity trauma sustained by wounded warriors and civilians.  Participation in this consortium involves departmental participation in well-designed, multicenter clinical trials.  Dr. Carroll’s research interests include evaluating new trauma-related orthopaedic implants and procedures for managing extremity pelvic trauma.  He has also worked with biomedical engineers at the medical school to develop three dimensional pelvis models to enhance resident education.  The models are “printed” using three dimensional reconstruction of CT images. The use of these prints provides residents with the opportunity to manually manipulate fracture fragments and determine the equipment and hardware needed to ensure optimal fixation of each fracture, decisions not readily made from radiographs.    

Danelson Kerry AnnKerry A. Danelson, PhD:   Dr. Danelson's research focus is injury biomechanics, primarily she is working with other academic and military collaborators on the Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin (WIAMan) Project to develop a crash test dummy for the military.  She is also interested in investigating orthopaedic challenges by leveraging her experience in experimental and computational techniques, such as finite element analysis and mechanical testing.  With an improved understanding of underlying mechanisms, better safety countermeasures or surgical techniques can be developed.
  
Emory Cynthia LCynthia L. Emory, MD:  Dr. Emory's research interests are focused on studying radiation induced fibrosis and methods to improve health-related quality of life and function in patients who have received radiotherapy for soft tissue sarcomas.  Dr. Emory has developed collaborations with colleagues in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center and in the Department of Radiation Biology.  Researchers in the Hypertension Center have been studying the antiangiogenic and antifibrotic properties of angiotensin-(1-7) in breast cancer.  In conjunction with Jeff Wiley, PhD in radiation biology, her team has developed a murine model to evaluate the histologic and physiologic effects of radiation on skeletal muscle in animals treated with or without angiotensin-(1-7).  Dr. Emory also has worked together with Anna N. Miller, MD to initiate an osteoporosis/osteopenia management program.
  

Cristin M. Ferguson, MD

Cristin M. Ferguson, MD:  Dr. Ferguson is a clinician scientist who divides her time between research and clinical responsibilities.  Dr. Ferguson received a K08 award from the National Institutes of Health in order to support her research efforts involved in developing a meniscus scaffold that emulates meniscus biology and function.  The scaffold under development has the potential to offer alternative and expanded treatments for knee pain related to meniscus pathology.  The decellularization process used to prepare the scaffold maintains the native three dimensional collagen architecture of the native meniscus while expanding its porosity.  Dr. Ferguson has received funding from the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the National Football League.  Dr. Ferguson also serves as a basic science mentor to graduate students, physician scientists, and residents.

Freehill Michael ThomasMichael T. Freehill, MD:  Dr. Freehill's interests include rotator cuff injury and repair.  He is collaborating with Dr. Tuohy and Dr. Mannava on studies using a rat model of rotator cuff injury and repair.  As a former baseball player, Dr. Freehill also is interested in shoulder injuries in baseball players.  Currently, he is involved in a study to evaluate how shoulder range of motion changes during the season in pitchers based on the number of pitches thrown.  Then changes in range of motion are characterized as glenohumeral internal rotation deficits.  These deficits have been identified as a risk factor for the development of shoulder injuries in pitchers.
  

Bettina M. Gyr, MD

Bettina M. Gyr, MD: Dr. Gyr’s research interests include motion analysis in children with cerebral palsy or other pathologies that result in abnormal gait.  She is also the principal investigator of a study funded by the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at the Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Health.  This ongoing clinical study is designed to establish the prevalence of protein and vitamin D deficiency in the pediatric trauma population treated in the Brenner Children’s Emergency Department for long bone fractures.  The Pediatric Trauma Center is the first Level I pediatric trauma center in North Carolina.  Future studies will determine if protein and vitamin D deficiency impacts fracture healing in pediatric patients.  Dr. Gyr also is collaborating with the Department of Physical Therapy at Winston-Salem State University to study the effects of obesity on functional activity in children.

  

L. Andrew Koman, MD

L. Andrew Koman, MD:  Dr. Koman is a pioneer in the use of intramuscular injections of botulinum A toxin to manage spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.  He designed and participated in several clinical trials that evaluated the safety and efficacy of intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin to reduce upper and lower extremity spasticity and improve function in children with cerebral palsy.  Dr. Koman also has been involved in basic science studies using rat and mouse models evaluating the appropriate dosage of botulinum toxin and the duration of the post-injection period of chemodenervation produced by the toxin.  As a result of his training in hand and microsurgery, Dr. Koman is involved in research to characterize the microcirculation of the digits of the hands and feet.  He has designed an isolated cold stress testing protocol that combines digital temperature measurements and microvascular perfusion measurements obtained by laser Doppler fluxmetry to monitor digital temperatures and microvascular perfusion before, during, and after a cold stress.  These measurements are critical in understanding the changes that occur as a result of digital pathology associated with diabetes mellitus, Raynaud’s phenomena, lupus, vascular insufficiency, and complex regional pain syndrome.  Dr. Koman also is involved in developing data management systems to document patient outcomes and support evidence-based medicine.  Finally, Dr. Koman is involved in developing new orthopaedic technology based on nanotechnology and tissue engineering principles.

  

Jason E. Lang, MD

Jason E. Lang, MD:  Dr. Lang is involved in several clinical research projects involving patients who have undergone total joint arthroplasty.  His interests include motion analysis of total joint replacement patients to evaluate changes in gait and proprioception before and after surgery.  This research is supported by a grant from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation.  He is also studying motion analysis related to differences in various surgical approaches and prosthetic designs.  His research also includes studies to evaluate the effect of preoperative nutritional status on the outcomes of total joint surgery. 

  

Zhongyu (John) Li, MD, PhD

Zhongyu (John) Li, MD, PhD:  Dr. Li is a clinician scientist with a long standing interest in peripheral nerve injury and repair.  Dr. Li, in collaboration with Thomas L. Smith, PhD, recently received a grant from the Department of Defense to study the use of acellular nerve grafts seeded with amniotic fluid-derived stem cells to promote and accelerate nerve regeneration.  Dr. Li also has developed a rat model to study the changes in muscle and bone in the shoulder in order to develop an understanding of the natural history of anatomical changes related to brachial plexus birth palsy.  In addition, Dr. Li is interested in distal radius fractures and is involved in two clinical trials:  1) to compare intramedullary fixation and plate fixation in patients who sustain distal radius fractures without intra-articular involvement and 2) as a co-investigator in a NIH sponsored multicenter clinical trial to evaluate various types of fixation to manage distal radius fractures in elderly patients.  Dr. Li has received several grants from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation to support his basic science research studies of the response of peripheral nerves to injury, i.e. Schwann cell activation, macrophage recruitment, and effects of growth factors at the site of injury.  In 2010, Dr. Li was awarded the J. Leonard Goldner Pioneer Research Award from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH).  This award is given to the most meritorious ASSH research grant application. 

  

David F. Martin, MD

David F. Martin, MD: Dr. Martin is a co-investigator of a study sponsored by the Department of Defense to evaluate strategies to reduce the incidence of knee injuries in the military. Knee injuries are common in the military and can occur during military training, active combat situations, and on base. This study is a collaborative effort between the Department of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest School of Medicine, the Department of Health and Sports Science at Wake Forest University, and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.  Dr. Martin is also interested in developing programs and models to train residents in basic surgical skills.  This interest is related to Dr. Martin's membership in the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons.  The board recently recommended skills training to be incorporated in all residency training programs.

Miller Anna NAnna N. Miller, MD:  Dr. Miller's research interests include the study of pelvic and acetabular fractures, malunion and nonunion of fractures, and post injury outcomes and rehabilitation.  Dr. Miller also participates in the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC).  This consortium, sponsored by grants from the Department of Defense has established a network of clinical sites to perform clinical outcome studies designed to provide treatment guidelines for managing high energy extremity trauma in wounded warriors and civilians.  Participation in this consortium involves participation in well designed, multicenter clinical trials and provides the statistical power to answer clinically relevant questions by enrolling patients at multiple clinical sites.  Dr. Miller recently received a Brooks Scholars award to develop a formalized musculoskeletal emergency curriculum to enhance provider skills, improve patient outcomes, and optimize facility utilization.  The training module that she is developing will focus on didactic courses for musculoskeletal education suitable for national implementaiton.  This innovative program will train orthopaedic surgery and emergency department residents and faculty in processes that will improve emergency department efficiency and patient care.
  

Tadhg J. O’Gara, MD

Tadhg J. O'Gara, MD:  Because of a deep love for research and helping the body heal naturally, Dr. O'Gara became an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery at Wake Forest Baptist Health so that he could further his research interests. 

While Chief Resident of Brooklyn's Kings County Orthopaedic Trauma Service, Dr O'Gara led a research team focused on preventing the death of neurons after being injured.  His research was awarded with publication in one of orthopaedic surgery's premier journals: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16505717

Dr. O'Gara continues to lead research teams at Wake Forest Baptist Health in searching for better, less invasive ways of treating spinal pain and scoliosis.  He was won three grants to date which have helped the researchers at Wake Forest continue their mission of improving the human condition.  Beyond two active research studies underway, Dr. O'Gara also leads the cost effectiveness initiative at the Wake Forest Baptist Spine Center. This important work helps us identify the most cost effective methods of treating spinal pathology. 

Dr O'Gara has also helped in the development of a nanotechnology based sensor, currently licensed from Wake Forest, which is designed to reduce lower back pain through improvements in posture.  

Poehling Gary GGary G. Poehling, MD:  Dr. Poehling is a pioneer in the field of orthopaedic arthroscopy and continues to be a proponent of new technology that promotes minimally invasive surgical techniques.  Dr. Poehling is using robotic-assisted unilateral knee arthroplasty (JKA) in selected patients with arthritic changes in only one compartment.  There has been a renewed interest in UKA as a viable option for patients with limited degenerative disease as an alternative to total knee arthroplasty.  Minimally invasive UKA is challenging and accurate component placement is vital for long term implant survival.  Fort his reason, Dr. Poehling uses a robotic-assisted UKA technique that allows for greater accuracy of component placement and dynamic intraoperative ligament balancing.
  

Aaron T. Scott, MD

Aaron T. Scott, MD:  Dr. Scott is interested in cadaveric studies that improve the understanding of techniques used to mange foot and ankle fractures.  He collaborates with biomedical engineers to test various constructs used for fracture management.  Dr. Scott also participates in the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC).   This consortium, supported by the Department of Defense, has established a network of clinical sites to perform clinical outcome studies designed to provide treatment guidelines for managing high energy extremity trauma in wounded warriors and civilians.  Participation in this consortium involves participation in well-designed, multicenter clinical trials and provides the statistical power to answer relevant clinical questions by enrolling patients at multiple clinical sites.

  

Allston J. Stubbs, MD

Allston J. Stubbs, MD: Dr. Stubbs’ research focuses on gaining an understanding of the painful hip joint in younger adults and the role of hip arthroscopy in hip preservation.  He has developed a database that includes outcomes data from patients that have undergone hip arthroscopy to treat intra-articular hip pathology.  His studies have demonstrated that patients with acetabular labral tears experience changes in balance control when compared to healthy controls.  Dr. Stubbs is involved in preliminary studies to determine whether or not biomarker levels are elevated in blood samples from young patients with hip pain who undergo hip preservation surgery.

  

Ishaq Y. Syed, MD

Ishaq Y. Syed, MD: Dr. Syed has a background in biomedical engineering and is interested in biomedical applications that can be used to study spine pathology/injury.  One of his current research interests is documenting outcomes in patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion using either allograft or autograft. 

  

Robert D. Teasdall, MD

Robert D. Teasdall, MD:  Dr. Teasdall is a co-investigator for the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC).  This multi-center consortium, supported by the Department of Defense, has established a network of clinical sites to perform clinical outcome studies to develop treatment guidelines for managing high energy extremity trauma sustained by wounded warriors and civilians.  Participation in this consortium involves departmental participation in well-designed, multicenter clinical trials.  By working with a consortium of study sites, clinical studies can be designed to provide the statistical power to answer relevant clinical questions.  Dr. Teasdall serves on the committee responsible for developing several of the multicenter study protocols.

  

Christopher J. Tuohy, MD

Christopher J. Tuohy, MD:  Dr. Tuohy’s research is focused on rotator cuff injury and repair.  He and his research team have developed a rat model that can be used to obtain measurements of physiological function (EMG and muscle strength), histology, and biomechanics of the rotator cuff before and after rotator cuff injury and repair.   For example, this model has been used to study old and young rats in order to determine the effect of age on cuff anatomy and histology.  Rotator cuff repair methods also have been studied in old and young rats.  Dr. Tuohy and his team also are developing a bioreactor that can be used to develop naturally derived scaffolds with the potential for clinical use in rotator cuff repair.  Recently, Dr. Tuohy and his research team (Michael Freehill, MD and Sandeep Mannava, MD, Phd) received funding from Wake Forest Innovations, a new operating division of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center focused on supporting milestone-driven projects with revenue creating potential.  Dr. Tuohy and his team are developing an innovative device for rotator cuff repair surgery.

  

Overview of Support Provided by the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory

The faculty and staff of the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory provide research support for the residents and faculty in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Specific areas of expertise available in the laboratory include:

  • Development and use of animal models in research
  • Cadaveric studies
  • Tissue culture
  • Molecular biology techniques
  • Tissue engineering
  • Basic statistical support
  • Manuscript preparation/editing
  • Development and implementation of clinical research protocols

Technical support is provided by 3 laboratory technicians:

  • Martha Holden, AAS, AA, RVT, LAT supervises laboratory and clinical research staff. Technicians are assigned to projects based on grant and abstract timelines. In addition, Martha Holden, a registered veterinary technician, serves as our liaison with the Animal Resources Center in the Department of Comparative Medicine.  Ms. Holden is responsible for the oversight of the Institutional Review Board compliance of all orthopaedic clinical research protocols.
  • Eileen Martin has extensive experience in microsurgical techniques, chronic animal model studies, tissue culture, and histology. She is responsible for the oversight of the Animal Care and Use Protocols within the department.
  • Jiaozhong Cai has extensive experience in immuno-histochemistry and real time RT-PCR techniques.
  • All technicians assist with ordering research supplies and monitoring expenses on grant accounts. 

Clinical research support is provided by clinical project managers, data collectors, and data management personnel.

  • J. Brett Goodman, BA, MBA, Research Project Coordinator facilitates clinical research, database management, and analysis of financial data as it relates to patient outcomes.  Mr. Goodman also coordinates multicenter studies and participates in the development of clinical research protocols.
  • Debbie Bullard facilitates clinical research involving hand/shoulder and musculoskeletal oncology. 
  • Martha Holden, AAS, AA, RVT, LAT directs the activities of the departmental study coordinators.  She is responsible for the oversight of all departmental Institutional Review Board protocols and serves as a liason between our department and the Institutional Review Board.
  • Lisa McCorkle, BA, oversees study data entry, database design, and database maintenance. She works closely with the Department of Public Health Sciences to provide datasets to the biostatisticians that are compatible with SAS.
  • Regina Renegar, CNA, works with all members of the total joint team.  Her main focus is to collect outcomes information from all patients who undergo total joint replacement surgery.
  • Deanna Sizemore, Research Administrative Coordinator, oversees grant administration and oversight of departmental research funds.  She also prepares budgets and facilitates the preparation of grant updates and final reports required by granting agencies.  Ms. Sizemore interacts with the Office of Research to insure compliance with all medical school, state, and federal financial guidelines.
  • Sybil Snow, PTA, works with the pediatric orthopaedic team and coordinates research involving scoliosis, cerebral palsy, and intrathecal baclofen pump therapy. 
  • Wendy Williams is a data collector for the trauma service, total joints, and spine and works to facilitate clinical research at Wake Forest School of Medicine.  

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Last Updated: 09-30-2014
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