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Applying Clinical Findings to the Practice of Medicine
Date:2/25/2009

ed the establishment of the Kappa Delta Research Fellowship in Orthopaedics, the first award ever created to honor achievements in the field of orthopaedic research. The first annual award, a single stipend of $1,000, was made available to the Academy in 1949 and presented at the AAOS meeting in 1950. The Kappa Delta Awards have been presented by the Academy to persons who have performed research in orthopaedic surgery that is of high significance and impact.

The sorority increased the number of awards from one to three, and increased the dollar amount. At present three annual awards of $20,000 each are given. Two awards are named for the sorority national past presidents who were instrumental in the creation of the awards: Elizabeth Winston Lanier and Ann Doner Vaughn. The third is known as the Young Investigator Award.

The fourth award, also providing $20,000, is the OREF Clinical Research Award. Established in 1995, the award recognizes outstanding clinical research related directly to musculoskeletal disease or injury.

Torn rotator cuffs

The 2009 Young Investigator Award, given to outstanding authors who are under 40 years of age or no more than seven years beyond training, was presented to Washington University researcher Stavros Thomopoulos, Ph.D.

Dr. Thomopoulos and his research team knew that torn tendons cause a severe amount of pain and disability, and fixing them through orthopaedic surgery is no easy task. Fascinated by tissue engineering, his team took on the challenge of re-attaching tendon to bone.

"One of the challenges of my research is that connecting tendon to bone is like connecting rope to cement," stated Dr. Thomopoulos. "The mechanical properties of the two tissues are that different."

His award-winning paper, "Structure, Biomechanics, and Mechanobiology in the Attachment of Tendon to Bone"
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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