Penn Researchers Awarded $3.2 Million to Continue Musculoskeletal Disorders Center

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Media Contact:Olivia Fermano | Olivia.Fermano@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5653September 7, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have been awarded another five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue the programs of the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders. Penn is one of five institutions nationally with this Center award and the only one of the three up for renewal in the cycle to be re-funded. Upon review by the NIH, Penn also scored a perfect "ten."

The Center aims to enhance and advance the research productivity of investigators in the broad topic of musculoskeletal tissue injury and repair. Based in Penn's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Center supports three critical, innovative research Cores to enhance musculoskeletal research. Additionally, the Center provides a pilot and feasibility internal grant program, seminars, and other educational programs for researchers.

Previously, there had been no central infrastructure for musculoskeletal researchers, despite the fact that musculoskeletal disorders have a devastating effect on quality-of-life for both old and young individuals, with 28,000,000 Americans reporting musculoskeletal injuries each year. "Musculoskeletal disorders affect everyone on some level," says Louis J. Soslowsky, PhD, Fairhill Professor and Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the director of the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders. "Carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and low back pain are just a few of the injuries and disorders that affect a large portion of the population. Musculoskeletal disorders dictate whether, and for how long a person can continue working at their job and/or when it’s necessary to begin home healthcare or nursing home care when these disorders prevent an individual from taking care of themselves in their own homes. Additionally, these problems significantly impair the ability to play sports, either recreationally or competitively. The Center will bring together the best and brightest at Penn to further our research and understanding of these debilitating afflictions."

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