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AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Friday, September 22, 2017

Larson Award - $30000

The Larson Award, sponsored by DePuy Spine, is limited to clinical research with funding up to $30,000. This research award is intended to establish funding for clinically relevant research related to the spine and peripheral nerves, and to provide a means of peer review for clinical research projects to help improve the quality of the proposal and therefore, enhance competitiveness for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. The award is also meant to create an annual funding mechanism to establish the AANS/CNS Spine Section as a known source for quality clinical research aimed at answering questions pertaining to the treatment of disorders of the spine and peripheral nerves.

Previous Recipients

2013Benjamin ElderBenjamin Elder, MD/PhD is currently a neurosurgery resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and is currently an enfolded spine fellow with Dr. Ziya Gokaslan, with a year of research training and a year of clinical training. He received undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Yale University, and completed the MD/PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University with a PhD in Bioengineering. Under the guidance of Dr. Timothy Witham, this research award will support his project which aims to study the biomechanical effects of radiation treatment on the spine and develop treatments that minimize the risk of painful vertebral compression fractures in metastatic disease of the spine.Johns Hopkins University
2012Daniel C. Lu, MD, PhDDaniel C. Lu, MD, PhD, completed his neurosurgery training at University of California, San Francisco and spine fellowship with Dr. Kevin Foley at University of Tennessee. Dr. Lu is a faculty member at University of California, Los Angeles. He directs laboratory research efforts at understanding the molecular basis for conditions affecting the spine. For the Larson Award, Dr. Lu will be conducting a one-year prospective trial in determining the “fingerprint” for symptomatic disc degeneration by looking at the molecular, radiographic and clinical profile of degenerated discs. This will potentially serve as a screening tool to predict success with operative management and establish the basis for potential therapeutic molecular targets.University of California, Los Angeles
2011Erica F. Bisson, MDErica F. Bisson, MD, completed her neurosurgical training at the University of Vermont and is a graduate of the Tufts University School of Medicine. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in spine surgery at the University of Utah under the guidance of Dr. Ronald Apfelbaum. She joined the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Utah in 2009, specializing in complex spine surgery with a clinical and academic emphasis on occipitocervical disease. Currently, she is the principal investigator on a multicenter trial evaluating surgical approaches in cervical spondylotic myelopathy.University of Utah
2010Matthew J. McGirt, MDDr. McGirt completed his undergraduate and medical school education at Duke University and is currently finishing his residency in Neurosurgery and spine fellowship with Dr. Ziya L. Gokaslan at Johns Hopkins. In July,Dr. McGirt will join the Neurosurgery faculty at Vanderbilt University. Dr.McGirt will be directing the Vanderbilt Spinal Surgery Outcomes Laboratory and will be studying the comparative effectiveness and cost-utility of various spinal fusion procedures for spine disease. As the recipient of the Larson Award, Dr.McGirt will be conducting a two-year prospective cohort study to1) assess the efficacy of revision fusion procedures on pain, disability and quality of life in patients with failed back syndrome,2) define the minimally clinically important differences in multiple outcome measures in the setting of failed back syndrome, and 3) determine the cost-utility of revision fusion for failed back syndrome.Duke University
2009Justin M. Brown, MDDr. Brown is now the associate director for the Center for Nerve Injury and Paralysis as well as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University. He is also a member of a scientific collaboration, the International Society for Restorative Neurology, which is actively exploring strategies for restoring function in central nervous system disorders, such as spinal cord injury.Washington University
2008Omar N. Syed, MDProject Title: Generation and validation of patient specific 3D models of the human cervical spine.Columbia University

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