50 Spine Surgeons & Specialists Researching Biologics for Spine Treatments

Lists

Here are 50 spine surgeons who research and innovate with stem cells and biologics. If you would like to recommend additional spine surgeons and specialists for this list, please contact Heather Linder at hlinder@beckershealthcare.com. 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. His research into intervertebral disc repair or regeneration with growth factors was recognized at an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting with the Kappa Delta Award. He continues to research 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.

Ian Armstrong, MD (Southern California Spine Institute, Los Angeles). Dr. Armstrong is the medical director of 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 Midway Hospital and is a founding member of CAST Surgical Center in Westwood, Calif. He is a member of the North American Spine Society, American Association of Neurosurgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Armstrong earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he was recognized with a fellowship grant from the National Institutes of Health for his research in spinal cord trauma. His additional training includes time at the University of Marseilles in France and a spine fellowship at the University of South Florida.

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.

Scott Boden, MD (Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, Atlanta). Dr. Boden is a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of 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 Dr. Boden's career he has been the clinical director of The Whitesides Orthopaedic Research Laboratory. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is affiliated with the North American Spine Society, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine and Orthopaedic Research Society. He is also a fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Nicholas Boulis, MD (The Emory Clinic, 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 a combined more than 500,000 stem cells. He is a neurosurgeon at The Emory Clinic and an assistant professor of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Boulis' research interests include biological neurorestoration and neuromodulation through cell, protein and gene delivery to the nervous system. His clinical interests include functional neurosurgery, trigeminal neuralgia and refractory pain. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Frank P. Cammisa, MD (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City). Dr. Cammisa, chief of the Spine Service at Hospital for Special Surgery, 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 other surgeons use animal models to evaluate novel materials that aid in bone growth. His expertise includes minimally invasive spine surgery, computer-assisted spinal surgery, athletic spinal injuries and motion-preserving procedures. Dr. Cammisa also performs a relatively new procedure, lateral lumbar interbody fusion, where the surgeon enters the spine laterally through the psoas muscle in the "trans-psoas" approach. He earned his medical degree at College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. His additional training includes a fellowship at the University of Miami in spine surgery.

Ivan Cheng, MD (Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.). Dr. Cheng is the orthopedic surgery residency program director and chair of the education committee in the orthopedic surgery department at Stanford University. He has been conducting research using stem cells for spinal cord injury for the past five years at Stanford. His research interests include biologic enhancement for spinal fusions, molecular techniques of intervertebral disc regeneration and techniques of spinal instrumentation. His research has been recognized by the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine and North American Spine Society. Dr. Cheng earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed his residency at UC Davis Medical Center. His additional training includes a fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

Freddie Contreras, MD (Neurosurgical Associates of Texarkana, Texarkana, Texas). Dr. Contreras joined Neurosurgical Associates of Texarkana in 1987, where he has been practicing ever since. He is among a group of three surgeons from the practice who have used the stem cell procedure from Harvest Technologies to treat back pain. The procedure requires surgeons to extract bone marrow from the patient's hip and process it through a device to concentrate a dose of cells that can be re-implanted into the patient to promote healing. He was among the first surgeons to use the technology on the minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Contreras earned his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma Medical School in Oklahoma City and completed his residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas.

Domagoj Coric, MD (Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates, Charlotte, N.C.). Dr. Coric was a lead investigator and author of "Prospective study of disc repair with allogenic chondrocytes," which describes the initial clinical experience with a cell-based biological therapy for treating degenerative disc disease. He is the chief of neurosurgery at Carolina Medical Center. Dr. Coric has been president of the North Carolina Spine Society and a member of the North American Spine Society. He has special interests in artificial disc replacement, degenerative spine disease, disc disease, spinal cord injuries and disc surgery. He received his medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he also completed a residency and internship.

Matthew Cunningham, MD (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City). Dr. Cunningham is an orthopedic surgeon focused on spine surgery He 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. Dr. Cunningham is a volunteer surgeon for the Foundation for Orthopaedics and Complex Spine and conducts clinical research to improve outcomes for adult and pediatric deformity correction. He earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Hospital for Special Surgery. His additional training includes a fellowship at HSS.

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.

Rick B. Delamarter, MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Delamarter is the co-medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center and vice chair for spine services in the department of surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He has a vast interest in non-fusion and minimally invasive techniques, including the use of growth factors for fusion and stem cells for repairing degenerative disc disease. During his career, he was among the first to use growth factor tissue engineering for intervertebral discs as well as multi-level artificial disc replacement for both the lumbar and cervical spine. His research has also reflected his passion for advanced spinal procedures, and his research has been recognized by the North American Spine Society and International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. Dr. Delamarter earned his medical degree at the University of Oregon Health Science Center in Portland and completed his residency at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Case Western Reserve University in Detroit and additional training at the Acute Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Cleveland Veteran's Hospital.

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. He is a past president of the Texas Spine Society, fellow with the American College of Surgeons and a member of the North American Spine Society and Cervical Spine Research Society. Dr. Dryer served as chief of orthopedic surgery for the U.S. Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio until he joined The Austin Back Clinic in 1988, which later expanded to become the Central Texas Spine Institute. Dr. Dryer earned his medical degree from University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery, also at the University of Iowa.

Richard G. Fessler, MD (Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago). Dr. Fessler, professor of neurosurgery at Northwestern, was the first physician in the United States to perform a human embryonic spinal cord transplant in 1997. 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. Dr. Fessler has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed papers, 50 book chapters and 16 books. He has been an honored guest of neurosurgical societies in Japan, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa and China, among other countries. Dr. Fessler earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where he also earned a doctoral degree in pharmacology and physiology. He completed his residency in neurological surgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

Mark Flood, DO (Laser Spine Institute, Tampa, Fla.). Dr. Flood is the chief of surgical innovation and an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Fla. He uses the RegenaDISC system to help repair patients' degenerative, torn, ruptured, herniated or bulging discs. The RegenaDISC system uses stem cell therapy and low-level laser spinal decompression to repair discs. He received his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University. He also completed a spine surgery fellowship at Southern Illinois University and an accredited scoliosis and pediatric orthopedic surgery fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Flood was also a founding member of the Center for Spinal Disorders and Pediatric Orthopedics in Mesa, Ariz.  

Gary Ghiselli, MD (Denver Spine Surgeons). Dr. Ghiselli was the principle 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 to be injected directly into the lumbar disc. Dr. Ghiselli is a board-certified spine surgeon at Denver Spine Surgeons. He has performed research on problems in cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, and has published many articles and book chapters. He is a board member of the Colorado Orthopedic Society and a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Colorado Medical Society. Dr. Ghiselli fellowship trained in cervical spine surgery with Henry Bohlman, MD, in Cleveland.

Jonathan Glass, MD (The Emory Clinic, Atlanta). Dr. Glass 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 a combined more than 500,000 stem cells. He is a neurologist The Emory Clinic and professor of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Glass is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association and Society of Neuroscience. He received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington. He completed his internship at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore and his residency and neurosurgery fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Steven Glassman, MD (Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville). Dr. Glassman is a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Louisville (Ky.) and practices at Norton Leatherman Spine Center in Louisville. He is a member of the board of directors for the Scoliosis Research Society and has been a program chair for the North American Spine Society. His research has earned him NASS honors and a series of other national awards. He focuses on patient-based outcomes and cost-effectiveness for spinal surgery, as well as the role of biologics in spinal fusion.

Robert F. Heary, MD (Neurological Institute of New Jersey, Newark). Dr. Heary is the director of the Spine Center at the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. He is also the director of the neurosurgical intensive care unit and a professor of neurosurgery. His major areas of interest include minimally invasive spine surgery, spine injury, spine tumors and spinal deformity. He has written more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, 35 book chapters and is on the editorial boards of Neurosurgery and the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques. He has conducted endowed research on the effects of injured neurons on mesenchymal stem cells. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, completed a residency in neurological surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark and received fellowship training in spine surgery at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

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.

Richard A. Hynes, MD (Osler Medical, Melbourne, Fla.). Dr. Hynes is a spine surgeon at Osler Medical. He has participated in numerous FDA-approved studies and has a professional interest in biologics and the use of stem cells in spinal surgery. Along with his clinical work, Dr. Hynes has served as a director of TXEDAKA, a charity that helps low-income individuals gain access to the medical care they need. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American College of Spine Surgeons and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Hynes earned his medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (then Rutgers Medical School) in New Brunswick, N.J., completed his residency at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu and received fellowship training in spine surgery at Harvard University.

Stanley Jones, MD (SpineCare, 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 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 spinal infusion procedure so effective that he decided to incorporate it into his spine practice. Dr. Jones has been director of spine care services at Memorial Hermann Hospital, Southwest, and is a diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He is also a member of North American Spine Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Board of Spine Surgery. Dr. Jones also spent time serving as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and completed his residency at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. His additional training includes a fellowship at Wellseley Hospital in Toronto.

J. Patrick Johnson, MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Johnson is a principle investigator for the Bryan Cervical Disc Prosthesis clinical trial. He previously served as the director of the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders, where he established the combined neurosurgery and orthopedic fellowship program. Now, he serves as a neurosurgeon within the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center. His research interests include biologic stem cell repair of spinal cord injuries, and he has published several articles in professional journals. During his career, Dr. Johnson has served as director of the California Association of Neurosurgeons and is a member of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Johnson earned his medical degree from the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of California in Los Angeles. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the University of Tennessee in Nashville and a fellowship at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, England.

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. He practices at Neurological Associates of San Antonia and is board certified in orthopedic spine surgery. Dr. Johnson completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto in Canada. He completed his internship at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and his orthopedic surgery residency at Wellesley Hospital in Toronto. His is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons.  

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. He has been involved in several clinical trials for artificial disc replacement and minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Kim is also the principle investigator for the Mesoblast trials at UC Davis as well as a parallel study where patients with advanced disc degeneration who had undergone removal of their cervical disc were injected with stem cells to promote vertebrae fusion.  Dr. Kim is a member of the International Society for Computer-Aided Surgery, International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and North American Spine Society. He earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and completed his residency in neurological surgery at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the University of California Los Angeles.

Jeffrey Kleiner, MD (Medical Center of Aurora, Aurora, Colo.). Dr. Kleiner was among the first spine surgeons to perform a discectomy in the United States using adult stem cell to help repair a patient's lower back in 2008. He partnered with the Colorado-based company Regenerative Sciences to perform the surgery. For the procedure, surgeons harvest stem cells from the patient and culture them before placing them into the patients' spines during minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Kleiner earned his medical degree at the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver and completed his residency at the University of California in San Diego. His additional training includes a fellowship at Rocky Mountain Spine Clinic in Lone Tree, Colo.

Carl Lauryssen, MD (Tower Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Beverly Hills, Calif.). 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 currently serves as the co-director of spine research and development and lead spine surgeon at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles. His research and surgical interests focus on minimally invasive surgery and motion preservation, and 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. In addition to his clinical work and research, Dr. Lauryssen has participated in device development and holds multiple patents and inventions currently used by spine surgeons across the country. Dr. Lauryssen earned his medical degree at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and completed his neurosurgical residency at University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. His additional training includes a fellowship in spinal neurosurgical surgery at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Albert Lee, MD (Tallahassee Neurological Clinic). Dr. Lee is the principle investigator of the Mesoblast Disc Repair clinical trail 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. Dr. Lee holds a faculty appointment at Florida State University College of Medicine and has a U.S. patent for inventing a method and apparatus for thermally affecting living tissue. He was among the first to perform lumbar disc replacement in Florida. Dr. Lee earned his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and completed his neurosurgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Allen D. Levi, MD (University of Miami Health System). Dr. Levi is the chief of neurosurgery at the University of Miami Hospital and chief of neurospine services at Jackson 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. During his career he has authored more than 90 peer review publications and 25 text book chapters. He also performs artificial disc procedures and minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. Dr. Levi earned his medical degree at the University of Ottawa in Canada and completed his residency at the University of Toronto. His additional training includes a spine fellowship at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

Chris Meyer, MD (Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital, Bellaire, Texas). 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. After harvesting bone marrow from the iliac crest, he processes it in the Celling Technologies system that concentrates the bone marrow to the desired level for healing. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Meyer has been on faculty at the University of Texas and is interested in developing new techniques and instrumentation for minimally invasive procedures. Dr. Meyer has served as the president of the Texas Spine Society and is a member of North American Spine Society. Dr. Meyer earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center/New York Orthopedic Hospital, both in New York City. His additional training includes a spine fellowship at the Kenton D. Letherman Spine Program in Louisville, Ky.

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.

Burak Ozgur, MD (Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles). Dr. Ozgur is a neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. He 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. He previously served as an assistant professor of neurosurgery, director of spinal neurosurgery and co-director of the University of California Irvine Comprehensive Spine Program. Dr. Ozgur is a member of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Society of Lateral Access Surgery, American Academy of Spine Physicians, North American Spine Society, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and more.

John Peloza, MD (Center for Spine Care and Minimally Invasive Surgery Institute, Dallas). Dr. Peloza is a founding partner of the Center for Spine Care and Minimally Invasive Surgery Institute, an ambulatory surgery center. He 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 total disc replacement. He was among the first surgeons to use the coflex Interlaminar Technology for motion preservation in the United States earlier this year. He is a member of several professional organizations, including North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Kenneth Pettine, MD (Rocky Mountain Associates, Loveland, Colo.). Dr. Pettine is the co-founder of Rocky Mountain Associates and Loveland (Colo.) Surgery Center. He is also founding member of the Society for Ambulatory Spine Surgery and co-inventor of the MAVERICK artificial disc. He has been a chief FDA IDE investigator for the Raymedica lumbar nucleus disc replacement and has been instrumental with several other motion preservation technologies. He performed the first Mesoblast procedure as part of the Phase 2 clinical trial for the company's adult Mesenchymal Precursor Cell product for lower back pain and degenerative disc disease. He's been involved in two FDA studies involving biologics to treat discogenic low back pain. He holds three patents for his technology and is a member of the North American Spine Society.

Kevin Rahn, MD (Fort Wayne Orthopaedics Spine Center, Fort Wayne, Ind.). Dr. Rahn is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Fort Wayne Orthopaedics with a special interest in treating patients with degenerative disorders. Dr. Rahn is actively involved in stem cell research and uses motion preservation techniques and laser procedures when treating his patients. Along with his colleague at Fort Wayne Orthopaedics Robert Shugart, MD, Dr. Rahn is researching the effectiveness of injecting mesenchymal precursor stem cells into the center of the target disc for patients with moderate lumbar degenerative disc disease with the Mesoblast procedure. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Rahn is a member of the North American Spine Society, Scoliosis Research Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Rahn earned his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison and completed his residency at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana in Fort Wayne. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at PSC in Louisville, Ky., and Tulane University in New Orleans.

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. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Rawlins is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Cervical Spine Research Society and Scoliosis Research Society. He is the spine consultant for the New York Knicks and New York Mets. Dr. Rawlins earned his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. His additional training includes a spine surgery fellowship at the Minnesota Spine Center in Minneapolis.

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 minimally 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.

Robert M. Shugart, MD (Fort Wayne Orthopaedics Spine Center, Fort Wayne, Ind.). Dr. Shugart is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Fort Wayne Orthopaedics Spine Center, where he has been a member since 1993. 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 with the Mesoblast procedure. Beyond his clinical studies, Dr. Shugart is a member of the North American Spine Society, International Society for Minimal Intervention Spinal Surgery and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He earned his medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and completed his residency at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, Minn. His additional training includes a fellowship at the San Francisco Spine Institute in Daly City, Calif.

Rudolph Shrot, MD (UC Davis Health System, Sacramento). Dr. Shrot is among the neurosurgeons at UC Davis Health System researching and 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. Shrot is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He has published several articles in professional journals based on his research throughout his career. Dr. Shrot earned his medical degree from State University of New York School of Medicine and completed his residency at UC Davis Medical Center. His additional training includes spine surgery fellowships at National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, UC Davis Medical Center and University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Jonathan Slotkin, MD (Geisinger Health System, Danville, Conn.). Dr. Slotkin is medical director of InVivo Therapeutics, a medical device company focused on solutions for patients with spinal cord injury with a new scaffold that includes human neural stem cells. In this role, he assists the company with regulatory submissions, clinical and medical reporting and clinical trail monitoring. His expertise includes minimally invasive and complex spine surgery as well as spinal oncology. At Geisinger, Dr. Slotkin is the director of spinal surgery and director of spinal cord research. He earned his medical degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and completed his residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital. His additional training includes a fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.

Gary K. Steinberg, MD (Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.). Dr. Steinberg is chair of the Stanford University School of Medicine neurosurgery department. He has a strong background in stem cell biology and participated in the Geron Corp trails at Stanford treating patients with spinal cord injury using the company's stem cell technology. Throughout his career, Dr. Steinberg has researched the use of stem cells in models of neurological injury or illness and received $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. Dr. Steinberg earned his medical degree at Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his residency at SUMC. His additional training includes a fellowship at the Institute of Neurology England.

Gowriharan Thaiyananthan, MD (BASIC Spine: Brain & Spine Institute of California, Orange). Dr. Thaiyananthan is founder and head surgeon at Basic Spine: Brain & Spine Institute of California. He has experience using cadaveric stem cells, donor stem cells and patients' own mesenchymal stem cells as graft material during spine procedures. He also has a professional interest in minimally invasive surgical techniques and often treats patients with degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and scoliosis. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Thaiyananthan has published articles in several peer-reviewed journals and is a member of the North American Spine Society and American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He earned his medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed his neurosurgery residency at Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital. His additional training includes a fellowship in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Institute for Spinal Disorders.

Nicholas Theodore, MD (Barrow Neurological Associates, Phoenix). Dr. Theodore is the clinical advisor for SpinalCyte, a company developing new technology to re-grow spinal discs. Dr. Theodore is the director of the Barrow Neurosurgery Spine Program and neurotrauma director, as well as associate director of the neurosurgery residency program. He previously served as chief of neurosurgery at Naval Medical Center in San Diego and director of neurotrauma at Narrow Neurological Institute. He has a professional interest in spinal cord injury, minimally invasive surgery and robotics. Dr. Theodore earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and completed his fellowship at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Jeffrey Wang, MD (University of California at Los Angeles Spine Center). Dr. Wang is the co-director of the UCLA Spine Center and vice chairman of the UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital department of orthopedic surgery. He presented at a recent 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. Dr. Wang holds leadership roles with the North American Spine Society, Cervical Spine Research Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has been editor-in-chief of the Global Spine Journal and served on the editorial board for other publications, such as the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and International Journal of Spine Surgery.

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.

Robert Watkins Jr., MD (Marina Spine Center, Marina Del Rey, Calif.). Dr. Watkins is an orthopedic spine surgeon and co-director of the Marina Spine Center at Marina del Ray (Calif.) Hospital with his father, also a spine surgeon. He participates in research related to biologics for spine surgery, spinal fusions and surgical technology. Dr. Watkins has a special interest in minimally invasive spine surgery, computer-guided spine surgery, artificial disc replacement and spinal deformity. He has authored papers and chapters on spine biomechanics and spine deformity, as well as spine injuries pertaining to athletic activity. Dr. Watkins completed his medical degree at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He then completed an orthopedic surgery residency at the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California General Hospital. Later, he finished a spine fellowship at The Queen's Medical Centre in England. Dr. Watkins was then a traveling spine fellow in Europe specializing in artificial disc replacement and scoliosis surgery.  

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. He established the neurosurgery fellowship in spine surgery at NEBH and has been on the editorial board for The Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques and Spine Universe. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Woodard is a member of several professional societies, including North American Spine Society and has served as chairman of the AO Spine North America Board. Dr. Woodard earned his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa., and completed his neurological surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. His additional training includes a fellowship in complex spine surgery at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.




Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.

 

Featured Webinars

Featured Podcast

Featured Whitepapers

Most Read - Lists