September 2017

Research Grant Committee Update

Patrick J. Cahill, MD
Research Grant Committee Chair

The committee reviewed, evaluated, and scored 22 grant applications during the spring cycle. The committee members were divided into 6 groups based on the members’ self-ranked expertise in specific areas of knowledge. A leader was assigned to each group. Each group evaluated 7-8 grants that loosely coincided with the group’s expertise. Each member assigned a ranking from 1-5, and the grant applications rankings were assigned an average score. All grant application scores from all 6 teams were posted to all members. A conference call of the group leaders was carried out to decide the final ranking.

The committee has partnered with several outside scientists with expertise in molecular, animal, and biomechanical research to assist in evaluating grants where our member volunteers need additional expertise. The outside reviewers have participated successfully in the past two cycles.

Dr. Leah Carreon, Chair Elect, led the outcomes sub-committee. This sub-committee is tasked with evaluating the progress and success of work associated with awarded grants. The creation of the sub-committee has standardized the process of reviewing the progress of awarded grants. She and her team have made the process more consistent and transparent.

Dr. Carreon is restructuring the scoring system to make it consistent with NIH, OREF, and POSNA scales. The new system will be 1-9 with 1 representing the best possible score. Furthermore, objective criteria for awarding various scores are to be better delineated with the new system. This scale will aim to decrease variability among reviews and provide guidance for new and candidate member reviewers. The scale is targeted for a roll-out in the Fall 2018 cycle.

The committee also periodically convenes ad hoc review teams to review proposals for directed research efforts as determined by the PL.

This spring, the research grant committee awarded the following grants totaling $59,886.00:

  • James Sanders – Standard Investigator – Growth of the Spine in Children- A Longitudinal, Prospective Investigation - $49,886.00
  • Serkan Inceoglu – Small Exploratory – Endplate Micro-structure, Bone Quality, and Mechanical Properties: In-vitro Biomechanical Investigation towards Predicting Endplate Fractures - $10,000.000

Congratulations to these investigators.


Chair: Patrick J. Cahill Committee: Michael Rosner, Past Chair; Siavish S. Haghighi; James S. Harrop; Seyed Mir Mostafa Sadat; Maxwell Boakye (C); Jason PY Cheung (C); Calvin C Kuo (C); Charles Gerald T Ledonio (C); Joshua Murphy (C); Chris J. Neal (C); Saba Pasha (C); Themistocles S. Protopsaltis (C); Huiren Tao (C); Feng Zhu (C); David F. Antezana; Leah Y. Carreon, Chair Elect; Morio Matsumoto; Vikas V. Patel; Ivan Cheng; Marcel F. Dvorak; Frank LaMarca; Luis R. Munhoz da Rocha; Virginie Lafage; Jwalant S. Mehta; Robert A. Morgan; Jianxiong Shen; J. Abbott Byrd III, Treasurer Outcomes Sub-Committee: Leah Carreon, Patrick Cahill, Michael Rosner, Ivan Cheng, Virginie Lafage, Kathy Blanke