December 2021

Research Program and Oversight Committee

Carol Wise
RPOC Chair 

Ever wonder what research is supported by the Scoliosis Research Society, and what we have learned from it? The Research Program and Oversight Committee, or “RPOC”, is charged with answering these questions and with raising awareness of the “return on investment” of SRS-funded research.

As part of the SRS Research Council, the RPOC is responsible for ensuring the highest productivity and impact from research projects funded by the SRS, including projects that are jointly funded by the SRS and their partners, such as the Cotrel Foundation basic science research grant and others.

The RPOC in the past cycle took on the significant task of tracking results histories from funded projects starting from 2012 and up to 2019. For every project, committee members assessed whether aims were achieved, and the impact in terms of conclusions, presentations, subsequent funding, and publications. Hand-in-hand with this undertaking, the RPOC implemented ProposalCentral to serve as a central organizer of this information, and also as hub for proposal submissions, peer reviewing and scoring, submission of annual updates, budgeting, and general communication. The ProposalCentral system is now fully implemented. This major administrative advance is performing exceptionally well in streamlining the various activities needed to monitor and support SRS-funded projects.

In 2020, the RPOC also launched a completely new initiative, an annual Research Grant Outcome Symposium to highlight and disseminate SRS-funded research activities and results. The first Symposium, hosted in a virtual format, featured six presentations of SRS-funded projects given by investigators in North America, Europe, and Asia. The response to the meeting was overwhelmingly positive, with 769 registrants and 319 attendees from around the world. In a post-meeting survey, 93% of attendees said they would attend again and 98% would recommend the event to a colleague.

Spurred on by this success, the RPOC is pleased to announce that the second annual SRS Research Grant Outcome Symposium, will be held on March 5, 2022, 9 AM ET. The Symposium will allow grant recipients to present their work in an atmosphere of collegiality that allows for ample discussion and engagement. The format will mirror that of the first symposium. The RPOC has again selected six projects and has invited the principal investigators and co-investigators of those projects to present their work, whether ongoing or complete. The Symposium will allow for the sharing of preliminary outcomes and possible hurdles the teams have encountered (e.g. how to manage in the circumstances around COVID? how to overcome IRB hurdles?). The live presentations will be followed by extensive opportunities for discussion and audience Q&A. Additionally, a brief information session will spotlight the diverse funding mechanisms available through the SRS. The target audience for this event is orthopaedic and neurosurgeons, residents, fellows, advanced practice providers, therapists, nurses and those who have an interest and are involved in spinal deformity management and treatment research. Mark your calendars and register now!

Additionally this year, the RPOC is working with the Development Committee to highlight SRS research in Development (fund-raising) efforts. More to come in this arena.

Committee members include: Carol A. Wise, Chair; René Castelein, Past Chair, Virginie Lafage (Research Grants PC), Mun Keong Kwan, Michelle Welborn (Research Grants CE), Owoicho Adogwa, Nicolas Plais, Kenny Kwan, James O. Sanders, Chair Elect, Qianyu Zhuang, Siavash Haghighi, Peter Passias