Kessler team receives funding to study factors leading to osteoarthritis after knee injury

Gerard Malanga, MD, and Nathan Hogaboom, PhD, of Kessler Foundation received a $185,707 award from The Geneva Foundation (Geneva) to study factors contributing to the development of osteoarthritis following acute knee injuries, a common disabling condition among active-duty military personnel.

The funding supports Kessler Foundation's participation as a collaborative partner in Musculoskeletal Injury and Rehabilitation Research for Operational Readiness (MIRROR) headquartered at the Uniformed Services University (USU).

The MIRROR program is managed by Geneva on behalf of USU. MIRROR supports a broad scope of musculoskeletal projects, including this two-year study entitled, "MIRROR Collaboration: Chemical and cellular characterization of hemarthroses after traumatic knee injuries in active-duty military personnel."

Although osteoarthritic joint changes are usually associated with aging, recently attention has focused on premature osteoarthritis in younger individuals with a history of traumatic knee injuries. Osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the most common causes of disability among service members who are medically separated from active duty.

After an injury, the influx of blood and inflammatory factors into the joint forms a hemarthrosis. Evidence suggests that toxic factors within the hemarthrosis contribute to osteoarthritic degeneration of the joint, according to Dr. Malanga, director of New Jersey Regenerative Institute and visiting scientist at Kessler Foundation.

This new award will allow us to extend our research into knee injuries in the high-risk military population, and explore how we can apply our knowledge of regenerative processes to counter the toxic effects of joint injury, maintain joint function, and help service members continue to actively serve."

Dr. Gerard Malanga, Kessler Foundation

Dr. Malanga serves as the study's co-principal investigator with Dr. Hogaboom, a research scientist in the Centers for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Outcomes & Assessment Research, and co-director of the Derfner-Lieberman Laboratory for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation. "We anticipate that regenerative interventions will minimize the risk of disability in military personnel," said Dr. Hogaboom, "by reducing painful and debilitating knee pain and preventing the long-term damage caused by osteoarthritis."

This project is sponsored by the USU, however, the information does not necessarily represent the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred on the part of, USU, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Award number: HU00011920011

The Geneva Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that advances military medicine through innovative scientific research, exceptional program management, and a dedication to U.S. service members and veterans, their families, and the global community. Geneva is proud to have over 25 years of experience in delivering full spectrum scientific, technical, and program management expertise in the areas of federal grants, federal contracts, industry-sponsored clinical trials, and educational services. genevaUSA.org

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