The explosion of new knowledge in genomics, cell biology and biomedical engineering technology is ripe for translation into new orthopaedic applications for improving the diagnosis and management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Orthopaedic research programs have been slow to capitalize on this opportunity because of inherent structural impediments in this discipline, which have increasingly distanced orthopaedic surgeons and basic scientists in the pursuit of translational research projects. In thi application, we propose a new paradigm for training musculoskeletal scientists in an academic setting, which is modeled after the proven, team science approach used by pharmaceutical companies. The Training in Orthopaedic Team Science (TOTS) program will sponsor the pursuit of well circumscribed, translational research projects by discovery teams composed of orthopaedic residents, post-doctoral Ph.D. fellows, medical students and faculty preceptors. Trainees will complete a Core Curriculum designed to provide a common grounding in musculoskeletal pathobiology and fundamentals in clinical research execution. Both research and didactic phases of the learning experience will occur concurrently by the trainees to ensure constant interaction between basic and clinical team members. An Enrichment Program will catalyze interactions between trainees and faculty and provide valuable career development training. The TOTS Steering Committee will oversee the project and team selection process, and evaluate the program's performance using tools for assessing short and long-term measures. An Internal Oversight Committee will provide independent, ongoing evaluation of the program and will coordinate feedback from trainees, training program faculty, and an External Advisory Committee. Successful implementation of the TOTS program is expected to produce musculoskeletal scientists who will enter the workforce with the requisite experience in translational research and leadership training to move discoveries effectively between the bench and bedside.

Public Health Relevance

to Public Health Disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system pose a major challenge to US health, due to their frequency, morbidity and resulting disability. The delivery of improved care for patients with musculoskeletal disorders will require more rapid translation of basic knowledge into approaches that improve clinical practice. The training program described in this application is intended to provide the skill set necessary for producing orthopaedic scientists who will be better able to translate new findings from the laboratory to the bedside. 1

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Special Grants Review Committee (AMS)
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Washabaugh, Charles H
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Johns Hopkins University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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