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65+ spine surgeons on the forefront of biologics & stem cells Featured

By  Mackenzie Garrity | Wednesday, 15 November 2017 20:55
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Here are 65-plus spine surgeons who are participating in clinical trials or have a research focus on biologics and/or stem cells for spine surgery.

If you would like to recommend an addition to this list, contact Mackenzie Garrity at mgarrity@beckershealthcare.com.

 

Howard An, MD (Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Chicago). Dr. An's research into intervertebral disc repair or regeneration with growth factors was recognized with the Kappa Delta Award at an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting. He continues to research spinal biomechanics and tissue

engineering.

 

Neel Anand, MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Anand's practice, Anand Spine Group, was approved as one of the nationwide centers to participate in the Phase II clinical trails for ISTO Technologies' NuQu, a therapy using cartilage cells in possible disc regeneration. Dr. Anand is the director of

spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center and has been the principal investigator in several clinical trials.

 

Ian Armstrong, MD (Southern California Spine Institute, Los Angeles). Dr. Armstrong is the medical director and founder of the Southern California Spine Institute. Throughout his career, Dr. Armstrong has worked on several different research projects, including stem cell treatment and motion preservation

technology. He previously served as the director of the spine program at Century City Hospital and at Midway Hospital.

 

Hyun Bae, MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Bae is director of spine education at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He is also the medical director of Los Angeles-based The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. 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.

 

Scott Boden, MD (Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, Atlanta). Dr. Boden is an orthopedic surgeon at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center in Atlanta. He has at least six patents for medical devices and his research is focused on bone regeneration, spine fusion and spinal disorders. During his career, Dr,

Boden has also served as clinical director of The Whitesides Orthopaedic Research Laboratory.

 

Nicholas Boulis, MD (Emory Healthcare, Atlanta). Dr. Boulis was among the physicians who performed the first FDA-approved stem cell injection into a patient's cervical spine for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment. The four-hour operation included five cervical spine injections containing more than 500,000

stem cells total. Dr. Boulis' research interests include biological neurorestoration and neuromodulation through cell, protein and gene delivery to the nervous system.

 

Don Buford, MD (The Dallas PRP and Stem Cell Institute). Dr. Buford is the founder of The Dallas PRP and Stem Cell Institute. With special interests in minimally invasive surgery and orthobiologics, he has participated on different clinical trials exploring regenerative therapies. Additionally, Dr. Buford has trained

over 600 clinicians on musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging.

 

Jacob Buchowski, MD (Washington University, Chesterfield, Mo.). Dr. Buchowski's clinical interests include the role of biologics in spine surgery, clinical outcomes following complex reconstructive surgery, and spine degenerative disorders. He is a professor of orthopedic and neurosurgery at Washington

University.

 

Frank P. Cammisa, MD (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City). Dr. Cammisa is chief emeritus of the spine service at Hospital for Special Surgery and is interested in autologous and synthetic biologic bone growth factors. At the Integrated Spine Research Program in the SpineCare Institute at Hospital for

Special Surgery, Dr. Cammisa and his colleagues use animal models to evaluate novel materials that aid in bone growth.

 

Ivan Cheng, MD (Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.). Dr. Cheng has been conducting research at Stanford on using stem cells for spinal cord injury for the past five years. His research interests include biologic enhancement for spinal fusions, molecular techniques of intervertebral disc

regeneration and techniques of spinal instrumentation.

 

Joseph Ciacci, MD (UC San Diego School of Medicine). Dr. Ciacci became the first surgeon to perform a procedure in the Phase I trial testing of Neuralstem's NSI-566 human neural stem cells for chronic spinal cord injury in 2014. The procedure transplants stem cells directly into the injury region. He is the chief of

neurosurgery VASDHS at UC San Diego.

 

Brian Cole, MD (Rush University Medical Center, Chicago). Dr. Cole is a professor of anatomy and cell biology at Rush University Medical Center and section head of the Cartilage Research and Restoration Center at Rush. At the cartilage center, Dr. Cole is researching the treatment of arthritis in young active

patients using regenerative medicine and biologic alternatives to surgery.

 

Domagoj Coric, MD (Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates, Charlotte, N.C.). Dr. Coric recently performed the second surgery in InVivo Therapeutics' clinical trial to treat spinal cord injury patients with stem cell technology. He was a lead investigator and author of "Prospective study of disc repair with

allogeneic chondrocytes," which describes the initial clinical experience with a cell-based biological therapy for treating degenerative disc disease. He is also the chief of neurosurgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C.

 

Matthew Cunningham, MD (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City). Dr. Cunningham has conducted research related to intervertebral disc regeneration and published literature on tissue-engineered intervertebral disc procedures to produce new matrix, maintain disc height and restore biomechanical

function to the rodent spine. He is working on basic and translational research to investigate disc physiology, with the ultimate goal to use small molecules or gene therapy as tools to drive conversion of disc tissue into bone for purpose of spine fusion.


Randall Dryer, MD (Central Texas Spine Institute, Austin). Dr. Dryer is a spine surgeon with the Central Texas Spine Institute who focuses on treatment of the cervical and lumbar spine. Along with his practice, Dr. Dryer has participated in FDA-approved clinical trials and spearheaded innovative procedures such

as using adult stem cells from a patient's body to aid in tissue regeneration.

 

Richard G. Fessler, MD (Rush University Medical Center, Chicago). In 1997, Dr. Fessler became the first physician in the United States to perform a human embryonic spinal cord transplant. He has been a medical specialist and flight surgeon for NASA and participated in the first FDA trial to test the use of

embryonic stem cells in patients with thoracic spine injuries.

 

Gary Ghiselli, MD (Denver Spine Surgeons). Dr. Ghiselli was the principal investigator in the FDA-cleared adult stem cell study testing the novel treatment for chronic low back pain, which began in early 2012. The study used mesenchymal precursor cells injected directly into the lumbar disc. Dr. Ghiselli's research

interests include antimicrobial substrates, stem cells and regenerative technologies.

 

Sanjitpal Singh Gill, MD (Medical Group of the Carolinas, Spartanburg, S.C.). Dr. Gill is an assistant professor in the department of engineering at Clemson University, where he is researching biologic disc replacement. He has a special interest in treating athletes: He was head team physician for the United

States Adaptive Ski Team from 2008 to 2010 and has provided medical coverage for the United States Pro Cycling championships.

 

Steven Glassman, MD (Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, Ky.). Dr. Glassman is a former president of the Scoliosis Research Society and has been a program chair for the North American Spine Society. He focuses on patient-based outcomes and cost-effectiveness for spinal surgery, as well as the role

of biologics in spinal fusion.


Christopher Good, MD (Virginia Spine Institute, Reston). As the director of research at Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Good serves as the principal investigator and oversees several trials investigating robot-guided spine surgery. He performed the first robot-guided surgery during a thoracic fusion procedure to repair

a spinal fracture in the mid-Atlantic region. Dr. Good also participated in the FDA trial investigating the safety and efficacy of genetically engineered bone graft to promote fusion. He has participated in numerous FDA-approved studies and has a professional interest in biologics and the use of stem cells in spinal

surgery.

 

Colin Haines, MD (Viginia Spine Institute, Reston). Specicializing in the mangeemnt of degenerative cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine condiations, Dr. Haines is a pioneer in non-operative treatments, such as stem cell therapy. In addition to his clincal work, Dr. Haines is a reviewer for the BioMed Research International Journal.


Roger Hӓrtl, MD (Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, New York City). Dr. Hӓrtl is currently investigating tissue-engineering techniques for the repair and regeneration of degenerated spinal discs. He is a leader in the application of evidence-based medicine to neurosurgery and developed treatment guidelines for

medical and surgical management of head injuries. He is also director of spinal surgery and neurotrauma at Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center.

 

Michael Hasz, MD (Virginia Spine Institute, Reston). As a spinal surgeon at Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Hasz oversees clinical trials investigating minimally invasive surgical techniques and currently serves as principal investigator for SI joint fusion clinical trials. He performs stem cell therapy for disc degeneration

by harvesting the patient's own adult stem cells from their bone marrow. His latest advances also include biologic agents to promote spinal fusion. Dr. Hasz travels internationally to train fellow spine surgeons on the latest minimally invasive techniques.

 

Regis W. Haid Jr., MD (Atlanta Brain and Spine Care). Dr. Haid's research includes using biologics in posterior interbody fusion. He has contributed over 135 scientific articles to peer reviewed journals and has written more than 85 chapters on the treatment of spinal disorders.

 

Robert F. Heary, MD (Spine Center of New Jersey, Newark). Dr. Heary is the director of the Spine Center of New Jersey. His major areas of interest include minimally invasive spine surgery, spine injury, spine tumors and spinal deformity. He has conducted endowed research on the effects of injured neurons on

mesenchymal stem cells.

 

Patrick C. Hsieh, MD (Keck Medicine of USC, Los Angeles). Dr. Hsieh is involved in several research projects, including the development of primary cell lines and xenograft model for chordoma. He is on the forefront of the shift in technology for restorative care and using stem cells for spinal cord injury. His

research interests include spinal biomechanics and the application of osteobiologics and nanoparticles for spine reconstruction. Dr. Hsieh is director of the neurosurgery spine program at the USC Spine Center.


Wellington Hsu, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago). Dr. Hsu is director of the Professional Athlete 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.

 

Richard A. Hynes, MD (The BACK Center, Melbourne, Fla.). Dr. Hynes has participated in numerous FDA-approved studies and has a professional interest in biologics and the use of stem cells in spinal surgery. He previously served as a university research professor in the college of engineering at the Florida

Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

 

Michael Janssen, DO (Center for Spine and Orthopedics, Denver). As a founding member of AOSpine International, Dr. Janssen has participated in various clinical studies for total disc replacement, spine technology and osteobiologics. He specializes in degenerative disc surgery and microdiscectomy and has

trained more than 150 surgeons on total disc replacements and osteobiologics.

 

Arthur L. Jenkins, MD (Mount Sinai Health System, New York City). Dr. Jenkins is a principle investigator for the InVivo Therapeutics stem cell clinical trial and is the primary surgeon and co-investigator of StemCells Inc., a clinical trial to study the human central nervous system and stem cell transplantation in

cervical spinal cord injury. He completed a fellowship in neurosurgery and spine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

 

Stanley Jones, MD (Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston). Dr. Jones earned national recognition for performing spine surgery using stem cells on Texas Governor and former Republican candidate for the presidential nomination Rick Perry. The spinal infusion procedure, developed by RNL Bio, a company

specializing in adult stem cell therapeutics, is one that Dr. Jones received himself in Kyoto, Japan. He found the procedure so effective that he decided to incorporate it into his spine practice.

 

J. Patrick Johnson, MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Johnson's research interests include biologic stem cell repair of spinal cord injuries, and he has published several articles in professional journals. He previously served as the director of the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders. Now,

he serves as a neurosurgeon within the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center and department of neurosurgery.

 

Robert Johnson, MD (Neurological Associates of San Antonio). Dr. Johnson completed research and testing on the efficacy of point of care adult stem cell therapies in spine surgery, in which the patient's own bone marrow cells help bone growth in spinal fusion procedures. Dr. Johnson presented his findings at

the 2010 Annual Stem Cell Summit in New York. He believes the use of autologous stem cells will revolutionize medical care and prevention of spinal disorders.

 

Adam S. Kanter, MD (University of Pittsburgh). Dr. Kanter is the principal investigator in several research studies examining stem cell-derived biologics to induce spinal fusion. He focuses on minimally invasive procedures and provides editorial service to several peer-reviewed journals. He has a special interest in

experimental therapies for spinal cord regeneration.

 

Kee Kim, MD (UC Davis Health System, Sacramento). Dr. Kim is the chief of spinal neurosurgery at UC Davis and co-director of the UC Davis Spine Center. Dr. Kim is also the principal investigator for the Mesoblast trials at UC Davis as well as a parallel study where patients with advanced disc degeneration who

had undergone cervical disc removal were injected with stem cells to promote vertebrae fusion.

 

Carl Lauryssen, MD (Olympia Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Lauryssen was among the first neurosurgeons in the country to inject stem cells into a human spinal cord as part of an FDA trial. He serves as the co-director of spine research and development at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has

been awarded the Young Investigator Award twice from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons for his work with cervical disorders and stem cell research.

 

Albert Lee, MD (Tallahassee [Fla.] Neurological Clinic). Dr. Lee is the principle investigator of the Mesoblast Disc Repair clinical trial at Tallahassee Neurological Clinic, which will determine the safety of the single injection of allogenic mesenchymal precursor adult cells. The cells are injected into symptomatic

lumbar intervertebral discs to treat pain related to degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine. He holds a U.S. patent for inventing a method and device for thermally affecting living tissue.

 

Allan D. Levi, MD, PhD (University of Miami Health System). Dr. Levi is the chief of neurosurgery at the University of Miami Hospital and Jackson (Fla.) Memorial Hospital. Dr. Levi oversees several ongoing clinical trials and is actively researching treatment for spinal cord injury, including cellular transplantation of

Schwann cells and stem cells. Currently he is researching the use of autologous Scwhann cells for peripheral nerve injuries and the safety of stem cell transplantation in cervical spinal cord injuries.

 

Robert Masson, MD (NeuroSpine Institute, Orlando). Dr. Masson founded the NeuroSpine Institute and is an international consultant for stem cell use in spinal injury. He advocates for spine patient prehabilitation and invented the iMAS surgical symphony for the interpedicular minimal access procedures in the

lumbosacral spine.

 

Chris Meyer, MD (Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine). Dr. Meyer is at the forefront of using stem cell therapy for regenerating tissue and has extensive experience harvesting adult stem cells during routine spine procedures to treat back pain. He underwent fellowship training at the Spine

Institute for Special Surgery in Louisville, Ky.

 

Isaac L. Moss, MD (University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington). Dr. Moss is a spine surgeon at New England Musculoskeletal Institute at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He has a research interest in intervertebral disc tissue engineering. 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.

 

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. He also serves as co-director of the Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Spine Tumor Clinic and is a professor in the

department of neurosurgery at Rush Medical College. Dr. O'Toole has a special interest in translational application of spinal biologics and the development of new spinal surgery techniques and devices.

 

Burak Ozgur, MD (ONE Brain and Spine Center, Newport Beach, Calif.). Dr. Ozgur has a strong interest in stem cell research, spinal biomechanics and minimally invasive spine surgery development. Dr. Ozgur has authored more than 27 articles in peer-reviewed publications and completed a combined orthopedic

and neurosurgical spine surgery fellowship at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

 

Kevin Pauza, MD (Texas Spine and Joint Hospital, Tyler). Dr. Pauza is a pioneer in disc biologics who developed the Pauza Discseel procedure to seal lumbar and cervical discs through biologic research. He specializes in nonsurgical treatments for patients who suffer chronic neck or lower back pain.

 

John Peloza, MD (Center for Spine Care, Dallas). Dr. Peloza was one of the first spine surgeons and clinical researchers in Dallas to use mesenchymal stem cells to treat degenerative disc disease. He has been active in using biologic solutions to promote disc and joint healing. Dr. Peloza is a pioneer in minimal

access spinal surgery and was instrumental in launching the SEXTANT, MET-Rx and MAVERICK procedures.

 

Todd Peters, MD (ONE Brain & Spine Center, Newport Beach, Calif.). Dr. Peters is focused on minimally invasive surgical disc innovations and next-generation orthopedic products that use human protein and growth factor materials for bone and tissue regeneration. Additionally, Dr. Peters practices regenerative

medicine. He is a founding member of ONE Brain & Spine Center.

 

Philip Ploska, MD (Regenerative Orthopaedics and Spine Institute, Stockbridge, Ga.). Dr. Ploska is a pioneer in mesenchymal cell treatment and using platelet-rich plasma to treat various musculoskeletal disorders. He specializes in nonsurgical treatment of spine and occupational injuries and is a fellow of the

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

 

Luga Podesta, MD (Bluetail Medical Group, Naples, Fla.). As a pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine, Dr. Podesta serves as a physical medicine and rehabilitation clinical professor at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. Dr. Podesta lectures nationally and internationally and has

published numerous research journal articles on spine injuries, biologic cell-based therapies and regenerative medicine.

 

Kevin Rahn, MD (Fort Wayne [Ind.] Orthopedics). Dr. Rahn is actively involved in stem cell research and uses motion preservation techniques and laser procedures in treating his patients. Alongside his colleague at Fort Wayne Orthopedics, Robert Shugart, MD, Dr. Rahn has researched the effectiveness of

injecting mesenchymal precursor stem cells into the center of the target disc for patients with moderate lumbar degenerative disc disease as part of the Mesoblast clinical trial.

 

Bernard Rawlins, MD (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City). Dr. Rawlins is a spine surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery with research interests in gene-mediated spine fusion, spine biomechanics and innovative surgical techniques. His clinical trials include osteogenic differentiation of human

mesenchymal stem cells, and he has written several scientific chapters and articles on biologic treatment.

 

Steven Rayappa, MD (Regenerative Orthopaedics and Spine Institute, Stockbridge, Ga.). Dr. Rayappa's clinical interests include regenerative medicine, stem cells and platelet-rich plasma. He underwent fellowship training at the Miami Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute and is a member of the

Arthroscopy Association of North America.

 

Mitchell Reiter, MD (New Jersey Spine Specialists, Summit). Dr. Reiter's research interests include spinal fixation biomechanics and biologic adjuncts to improve spinal fusion. He is a member of the North American Spine Society's Ethics Committee and Coverage Task Force and Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord

Injury System's Steering Committee.

 

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 more than 75 articles in peer reviewed publications in areas such as biologic enhancement of spine surgery.

 

Thomas Schuler, MD (Virginia Spine Institute, Reston). Dr. Schuler, CEO and founder of Virginia Spine Institute, has led advances in modern spinal healthcare that have achieved great success in restoring the lifestyles of thousands nationwide. As the president of the patient-focused Spinal Research Foundation,

a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Reston, Va., this industry giant has participated in numerous FDA-approved studies and has expertise in biologics and the use of stem cells in spinal surgery. He was also first in the mid-Atlantic region to perform a robot-guided surgery during a thoracic fusion

procedure to repair a spinal fracture. He most recently expanded his practice to include regenerative therapy and stem cell therapy.

 

Francis H. Shen, MD (University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville). 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.

 

Robert M. Shugart, MD (Fort Wayne Orthopedics, Fort Wayne, Ind.). Along with colleague Kevin Rahn, MD, Dr. Shugart is examining the effectiveness of injecting mesenchymal precursor stem cells into the center of the disc for patients with moderate lumbar degenerative disc disease as part of the Mesoblast

clinical trial.

 

Rudolph Schrot, MD (Sutter Health, Sacramento). Dr. Schrot was among the neurosurgeons performing procedures using the Mesoblast technology to promote bone tissue growth after removing cervical discs. The new stem cell therapy uses bone-marrow-derived adult stem cells to promote growth. Dr. Schrot is a

member of the Society of Clinical Research Associates.

 

Jonathan Slotkin, MD (Neurosurgery Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa.). Dr. Slotkin is on the scientific advisory board for InVivo Therapeutics, a medical device company focused on solutions for patients with spinal cord injuries with a new scaffold that includes human neural stem cells. His expertise

includes minimally invasive and complex spine surgery as well as spinal oncology. He is also affiliated with Geisinger Neurosciences Institute, where he researchers neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

 

Gary K. Steinberg, MD (Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.). Dr. Steinberg has a strong background in stem cell biology and participated in the Geron Corp. human embryonic stem cell trials at Stanford in 2011. Dr. Steinberg has researched the use of stem cells in models of neurological injury or

illness and received a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to study how neural stem cells could be used to treat patients with ischemic stroke.

 

Brian R. Subach, MD (The Virginia Spine Institute, Reston, Va.). Dr. Subach is President of The Virginia Spine Institute and Chief Scientific officer for the nonprofit Spinal Research Foundation (SRF). He is a principal investigator in the Phase II clinical trial of ISTO Technologies' NuQu, a therapy using cartilage-

forming cells to accomplish disc regeneration. Dr. Subach and his partners have been using autologous platelet-rich plasma and bone marrow aspirate in direct patient care with excellent results. Recently, the practice has begun enrolling patients in the Mesoblast trial for degenerative lumbar disc disease. The

proprietary process immunoselects the mesenchymal precursor cells (stem cells) from adult bone marrow mononuclear cells and then expands these stem cells in culture to produce allogenic MPCs (NeoFuse).

 

Fernando Techy, MD (Rocky Mountain Spine and Orthopedics, Johnstown, Colo.). Dr. Techy has a special interest in using stem cells and other biologic materials in spine surgery. He performs stem cell injections into the intervertebral disc and large joints. Dr. Techy is on the faculty for AOSpine North America

and is a member of the Orthopaedic Stem Cell Institute in Colorado.

 

Gowriharan Thaiyananthan, MD (BASIC Spine, Orange, Calif.). Dr. Thaiyananthan is founder and head surgeon at BASIC Spine. He has experience using cadaveric stem cells, donor stem cells and patients' own mesenchymal stem cells as graft material during spine procedures.

Nicholas Theodore, MD (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore). Dr. Theodore has been clinical advisor for SpinalCyte, a company developing new technology to re-grow spinal discs. Dr. Theodore is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgical Spine Center. His research focuses on developing and

understanding the genetic and molecular bases of spinal disease.

 

Jeffrey Wang, MD (Keck Medicine of USC, Los Angeles). Dr. Wang is the chief of the orthopedic spine service and co-director of the USC Spine Center at Keck Medicine of USC. He presented at a 2015 North American Spine Society meeting on the eventual clinical use of stem cells in spine fusion surgery. Dr.

Wang foresees stem cells being used in conjunction with growth factors such as bone morphogenetic proteins.

 

Michael Wang, MD (University of Miami Health System). Dr. Wang 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 has published over 100 peer reviewed

papers, book chapters, abstracts and oral presentations.

 

Robert Watkins Jr., MD (Watkins Spine, Marina Del Rey, Calif.). Dr. Watkins is an orthopedic spine surgeon and co-director of the Marina Spine Center at Marina del Rey (Calif.) Hospital. He participates in research related to biologics for spine surgery, spinal fusions and surgical technology.

Eric Woodard, MD (New England Baptist Hospital, Roxbury Crossing, Mass.). Dr. Woodard is the chief medical officer of InVivo Therapeutics, a medical device company focused on finding solutions for patients with spinal cord injury, including using stem cells. Dr. Woodard is also the chief of neurosurgery at

New England Baptist Hospital and former chief of spine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in Boston.

 

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