10 Spine Surgeons & Specialists Engaging in Spinal Biologics Research and DevelopmentWritten by Laura Miller | February 29, 2012
Here are 10 spine surgeons and specialists who have a focus on research and development in spinal biologics.
Howard An, MD (Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Chicago). Dr. An is the director of spine surgery and the spine fellowship at Rush University Medical Center and a member of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. He has spent more than a decade researching intervertebral disc degeneration and associated factors to understand how the condition relates to lower back pain. This past year, his research into intervertebral disc repair or regeneration with growth factors was recognized at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting with the Kappa Delta Award. His current research involves spinal biomechanics and tissue engineering. Dr. An is a member of several professional organizations, including North American Spine Society, Scoliosis Research Society and American Spinal Injury Association. Dr. An earned his medical degree and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. His additional training includes a spine surgery fellowship at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and the Scoliosis Research Society's traveling fellowship.
Hyun Bae, MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Bae is the co-director of the spine fellowship program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He has a special interest in minimally invasive spine surgery and artificial disc replacement. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Bae has spent a great deal of time researching stem cell repair for degenerative disc disease and the use of growth factors to treat spinal cord injuries. He was among the first to use growth factor tissue engineering for intervertebral discs and chaired a course in 2010 for the North American Spine Society about navigating research in spinal biologics. Dr. Bae earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and completed his surgical residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. His additional training includes a spine fellowship at Case Western Reserve Hospital in Cleveland.
Timothy Davis, MD (The Spine Institute, Center for Spinal Restoration, Santa Monica, Calif.). Dr. Davis is the director of interventional spine, electrodiagnostics and musculoskeletal medicine at The Spine Institute, Center for Spinal Restoration. He has a special interest in interventional pain management, disc regeneration technology and spinal cord stimulation. During his career, Dr. Davis has pursued extensive research using biological therapies to repair damaged spinal discs and authored several professional articles on the topic. Dr. Davis is a member of multiple professional organizations, including North American Spine Society and American Academy of Pain Medicine. He earned his medical degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and completed additional training in general surgery at Ochsner Medical Foundation in New Orleans.
Michael Heggeness, MD (Baylor Clinic, Houston). Dr. Heggeness is director of the spine surgery fellowship program at Baylor College of Medicine and a member of the orthopedic spine service at Veterans Administration Medical Center. Currently, he is president of the North American Spine Society. In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Heggeness completed his PhD in biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco and conducted research in virology at Rockefeller University in New York. His current research interests include the anatomy and biomechanics of the spine, nerve investigations and developing new techniques for tissue engineering of bone that seeks to use molecular genetic techniques to stimulate fusion and healing of fractures. Dr. Heggeness earned his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the University of Toronto.
Wellington Hsu, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago). Dr. Hsu is a spine surgeon at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine with a special interest in trauma and minimally invasive instrumentation. He also serves as the director of the Professional Athlete's Spine Initiative, which compiles data on athletes who undergo treatment for spinal conditions. At Northwestern, Dr. Hsu heads the Laboratory for Regenerative Technologies. He has a research interest in tissue engineering and bone graft substitutes for spinal fusion. Dr. Hsu is a member of several professional societies, including Cervical Spine Research Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and North American Spine Society. Dr. Hsu earned his medical degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at UCLA Medical Center. His additional training includes a basic science fellowship at UCLA and a fellowship in spinal surgery and spinal cord injury at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison.
Isaac L. Moss, MD (University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington). Dr. Moss is a spine surgeon at New England Musculoskeletal Institute of the University of Connecticut Health Center. He has a professional interest in minimally invasive spine surgery and treating a variety of spinal conditions. In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Moss earned a master's degree in biomedical engineering and has been involved in developing novel biologic therapies for intervertebral disc degeneration. His research has earned him recognition among his peers. Dr. Moss is a member of the North American Spine Society and Orthopaedic Research Society. He earned his medical degree at McGill University in Toronto and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Toronto. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine and scoliosis surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
John O’Toole, MD (Rush University Medical Center, Chicago). Dr. O'Toole is an assistant professor and attending physician in the department of neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. O'Toole has a special interest in translational application of spinal biologics and the development of new spinal surgery techniques and devices. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the North American Spine Society and Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and Dr. Toole is a founding member of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery. He earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed his residency in neurological surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the University of Chicago.
Harvinder S. Sandhu,, MD (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City). Dr. Sandhu is an associate attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery and an assistant scientist in the hospital's research division. He has a special interest in endoscopic spine surgery, computer-assisted spine surgery and the use of biologics. During his career, Dr. Sandhu has published several articles in peer-review publications in areas such as biologic enhancement of spine surgery. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Sandhu participated in the development of medical devices and instrumentation for spine surgery. He currently holds multiple patents for the diagnosis and treatment of spinal disorders. Dr. Sandhu earned his medical degree at Northwestern University in Chicago and completed his residency at State University of New York. His additional training includes a fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, and he previously served as chief of the spinal surgery service at UCLA Medical Center.
Francis H. Shen, MD (University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville). Dr. Shen is a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia School of Medicine with a professional interest in open and minimal invasive techniques to preserve patients' spinal pathology. He treats patients with all types of conditions, including tumor, trauma and degeneration conditions. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Shen's research interests include applying tissue engineering principles to solving problems in spine care. His current research includes the development of techniques for managing spinal fusion and treating intervertebral disc degeneration using tissue engineering principles. He also focuses on the use of osteoinductive proteins for generating spinal fusions. Dr. Shen earned his medical degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Rush University in Chicago and a pediatric spinal deformity fellowship at Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago.
Michael Wang, MD (University of Miami Health System). Dr. Wang is an assistant professor of neurological surgery and rehabilitation with the University of Miami Health System. He has several research interests, including the use of robots in spine surgery, resorbable spinal implants and the development of new osteobiologic agents to promote spinal fusion. During his career, Dr. Wang authored several articles published in professional journals. He has also been involved in the investigation of outcomes assessments in spinal surgery. Dr. Wang earned his medical degree at Stanford (Calif.) University Medical School and completed his residency in neurosurgery at LA County and University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His additional training includes a neurosurgery spine fellowship at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
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