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Research is an important and integral component of residency training in orthopaedic surgery at UNC.

Orthopaedic Research Laboratories:

The Orthopaedic Research Laboratories is involved in both clinical and basic science research related to the musculoskeletal system. Funding for this research comes from a variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, pharmaceutical industry, medical device industry, and other private foundations. Additional support also comes from the Department of Orthopaedics and small intramural start-up grants.

The Orthopaedic Research Laboratories employs biochemical and biomechanical techniques to study musculoskeletal tissues in health and disease. Current areas of research include: the investigation of molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis and the healing of spinal cord injuries; the biology and biomechanics of ligament and tendon; the role of prostaglandin metabolism in acute trauma and sports injury; prevention efforts to reduce the risk of noncontact ACL injuries and slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis, epidemiological studies of factors involved in the development of osteoporosis; the development of tissue engineering approaches for musculoskeletal tissue repair; and the evaluation and development of new surgical implants and procedures in orthopaedics.

Research Expectations for Residents:

Residents are encouraged to participate in as many research projects as possible and are required to complete a research thesis during their training. Clinical and/or basic research proposals are usually chosen from among current faculty research projects and interests; however, residents are also encouraged to generate original research proposals provided appropriate faculty supervision is available. All research projects are reviewed and monitored by the Orthopaedic Research Committee. Research proposals and data generated are presented during the PG 3rd and 5th years, respectively, at several of the monthly Research Conferences. Each resident is expected to prepare and defend his/her research thesis at the Raney Professorship during the final year of residency.