Boston Children's Hospital

James R. Kasser, MD

James R. Kasser, M.D.

2012-13 Chief's Report | Children's Chief's Report 2012-2013 PDF



The basic science laboratory focuses on molecular biology and genetics of bone in both normal and disease states. There is also a translational effort in intra-articular healing, headed up by Dr. Martha Murray, an orthopaedic surgeon and avid researcher, focused on new way to augment anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and joint preservation. Matt Warman, M.D., the director of our lab, is a Howard Hughes investigator and prolific scientist. His involvement in an array of projects ranging from the effects of lubracin depletion on articular cartilage, new methods to treat osteogenesis imperfecta and the genetics of vascular malformation as well as neoplastic conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Matt’s work is supported by NIH as well as the Howard Hughes Foundation. Despite the pressure on funding from NIH, Matt, Martha and the laboratory continue to be well funded and highly successful.


We have a Clinical Effectiveness Unit which has been under the direction of Dr. Waters and Patty Connell, M.P.H. for the past 5 years. The goal of the Clinical Effectiveness Research Center (CERC) is to provide administrative and statistical support for clinical research studies conducted by staff physicians as well as the fellows, residents, medical student, and nurses who work in the department, so that we can provide high quality and safe, effective care and treatment to all of our patients. Like the department’s clinical activities, CERC is divided into teams: spine, hip, sports, trauma, upper extremity including hand and brachial plexus, lower extremity including limb reconstruction and clubfeet, tumor and cerebral palsy. The research teams are led by over 20 pediatric orthopaedic surgeons in conjunction with the CERC team leader; they are supported by 3 biostatisticians and 10 research coordinators.


In addition to the research done within our own institution, our surgeons collaborate with investigators from other institutions and participate in and lead multi-center studies, registries and randomized trials. The department’s research-related productivity remained high in 2012, with 79 manuscripts accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals, 5 out of 9 grant applications were funded and more than 100 presentations were made by staff physicians at national and international meetings.


Rachel DiFazio, PhD, NP, Boston Children's Hospital OrthopedicsRachel DiFazio, (Figure 12) a nurse practitioner in the department has obtained her PhD from Boston College School of Nursing. She leads a research effort in improving musculoskeletal care with a nursing focus. The Peabody Foundation in Boston has funded her work in honor of Bill Tripp, the former Executive Director of The Peabody Foundation. Bill Tripp’s interest in improving nursing care of musculoskeletal patients was paramount and following his death, The Peabody Foundation instituted a grant program to support nursing research in the musculoskeletal program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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