PHILADELPHIA – Louis J. Soslowsky, Ph.D. Fairhill professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and professor of Bioengineering, director of the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory and Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was named the 2010 winner of the Ann Doner Vaughan Kappa Delta Award by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Soslowsky presented his award-winning paper, “Understanding the Etiology, Pathogenesis, and Repair Response of Rotator Cuff Injuries: A Series of Interconnected Studies Developing and Using an Animal Model,” Tuesday, March 9th at the 56th annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in New Orleans. The Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughan Award was officially presented the following afternoon at the opening ceremony of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting.
In Soslowsky’s paper he presents his series of studies using a rat model that he identified, which demonstrates the impact of extrinsic and overuse factors on rotator cuff injuries of the shoulder and the importance of post-surgical activity levels in the healing response. Soslowsky’s research has clinical applications which may directly translate into the treatment of rotator cuff injuries in humans. Based on his team’s data to date, they and other researchers are now able to investigate true mechanisms of injury and healing at the molecular, cellular, and tissue level in this current rat model and other animal model series. “Dr. Soslowsky’s career commitment to excellence in musculoskeletal research has been recognized at the highest level with this award,” said L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Penn Medicine. “This honor is well earned and well deserved.”
According to Soslowsky, “the great apes may be man’s closes animal relative, but it’s the rat that may teach us the most about rotator cuff disease,” the most common cause of shoulder pain and malfunction in adults and the subject of his research for the past two decades.
Soslowsky began his shoulder research as a graduate student at Columbia University where he received his undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees from 1986-1991. In 1991, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Orthopaedic Surgery and in their Bioengineering Program and rose to assistant and associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. He also served at the associate director of the University of Michigan Orthopaedic Research Laboratories in 1997, when he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine as an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering and was named director of Orthopaedic Research.
In 2002, Soslowsky was named vice chair for Research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Penn and a full professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering in 2004. Two years later he was the founding director of the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders and then named the Fairhill professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2008. Soslowsky is also a fellow of the American Institute of Biological Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging.
A prolific publisher of research papers, Soslowsky currently serves as the research editor of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery; on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research; as an editorial consultant for the Journal of Biomechanics; isan active reviewer for the National Institute of Health and other agencies; past chair of the Division of Bioengineering of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; and a former member of the United States National Committee on Biomechanics.
An expert in orthopaedic bioengineering and functional tissue engineering, Soslowsky continues his research into structure-function relationships of tendons and ligaments, models for tendon injury, healing, repair and regeneration; and the biomechanics of the shoulder and elbow.