$2 Million Research Award Announced

OREF, MTEC, DOD Select Recipients of $2 Million Research Award Collaboration.
10-24-2023 | Updated: 10-24-2023

The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), in collaboration with the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) and the Department of Defense's (DOD) U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's (USAMRDC) Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP), today announced selection for recipients of the OREF/MTEC Request for Project Proposals entitled, "MTEC-23-02-MSKI, Solutions to Accelerate Return-to-Readiness following Musculoskeletal Injuries." The program provides $2 million in research and development funding. OREF is contributing $100,000 toward the awards, which was made possible by a generous gift from The Aircast Foundation, a private foundation committed to promoting and supporting excellence in scientific and clinical research and education in the area of orthopaedic medicine. The remainder of the funding is provided by the DOD.

Awards were made to the Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Inc., which will receive $1.3 million for its study addressing dynamic gait-synchronous neuromuscular electrical stimulation following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, and the Geneva Foundation, which will receive over $700,000 for its study addressing the development of a dynamic three-dimensional knee assessment medical device to accelerate return to readiness from knee pain. Studies will commence in September 2023, and it is expected that they will conclude no later than September 2026.

"OREF is committed to improving care and outcomes for all patients, including those serving in our military forces," noted OREF Trustee Colonel James R. Ficke, MD, U.S. Army (retired). "Musculoskeletal injuries are the leading cause of disability discharges1 and account for 76 percent of the non-deployable population2. OREF is excited to collaborate with MTEC and MOMRP to fund research that may accelerate return-to-readiness for Service members affected by musculoskeletal injuries."

"We are equally grateful for OREF's support of our injured service men and women. The solutions developed under these awards will give clinicians new tools to support – and even accelerate – the rehabilitation process after lower extremity injuries," said Elizabeth Russell Esposito, PhD, Musculoskeletal Injury Program Area Manager for MOMRP.

"An important component of the public-private collaboration that MTEC fosters is the ability to leverage philanthropic dollars to serve military medical need. We are thrilled to collaborate with OREF on this important effort. Musculoskeletal injury is one of the largest threats to warfighter readiness. Through this partnership, we seek solutions that will improve the health and quality of life for both our warfighters and for the broader population of patients enduring orthopedic trauma," said Lauren Palestrini, Ph.D, Chief Science Officer at MTEC.

Through the collaboration, OREF and MTEC seek to promote research that will lead to the development of solutions to accelerate recovery following acute or cumulative musculoskeletal injuries to Service members. Prototypes may include developing medical technologies (e.g., drugs, biologics, and devices) and treatments or rehabilitative strategies (e.g., methods, guidelines, standards, knowledge products) for musculoskeletal injuries.

About the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation
An independent 501(c)3 nonprofit, OREF strives to improve clinical care and patient outcomes by advancing innovative research, developing new investigators and uniting the orthopaedic community in promoting musculoskeletal health. The Foundation raises funds to support research on diseases and injuries of bones, nerves, muscles, and tendons and to enhance clinical care leading to improved health, increased activity and a better quality of life for patients. For more information, visit oref.org and follow us on Twitter.

About the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium
The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium is a 501(c)(3) biomedical technology consortium that is internationally dispersed, collaborating with multiple government agencies under a 10-year renewable Other Transaction Agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. The consortium focuses on the development of medical solutions that protect, treat and optimize the health and performance of U.S. military personnel and civilians. For more information, visit https://mtec-sc.org/.

About the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Military Operational Medicine Research Program
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP) seeks to develop effective medical countermeasures against operational stressors and to prevent physical and psychological injuries during training and operations in order to maximize the health, performance and fitness of Service members and their Families, and support the Army Force 2025 and Beyond (F2025B) and Department of Defense (DoD) Total Force Fitness (TFF) concepts. For more information, visit https://momrp.health.mil/Pages/Main01.aspx.

1.    Boyle, A. Military Musculoskeletal Injuries Compromise Readiness, Drive Disability Claims. U.S. Medicine. Available at https://www.usmedicine.com/uncategorized/military-musculoskeletal-injuries-compromise-readiness-drive-disability-claims/. Accessed on August 23, 2023.
2.    Shoge, R. Musculoskeletal Injury (MSKI) Prevention & Neuromuscular (NMS) Injury Rehabilitation Program. Military Operational Medicine Research Program. U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. https://cdmrp.health.mil/prorp/pdfs/MOMRP_JPC5_Dr.%20Richard%20Shoge.pdf. Accessed on August 23, 2023.