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Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation and National Stem Cell Foundation award $800,000 grant to Christopher L. Mendias, PhD, of the Hospital for Special Surgery

18th December 2017


The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) and the National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) announced today that a research grant of $800,000 has been awarded to Christopher L. Mendias, PhD, of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Dr. Mendias received the OREF Clinical Research Grant in Cellular Therapy in Honor of James Urbaniak, MD. The Phase II clinical study seeks to determine if an autologous stem cell therapy to enhance the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissue will improve surgical outcomes for patients with chronic rotator cuff tears. This is the second collaboration between OREF and NSCF to advance promising research in adult stem cell therapies, expected to play a key role in the future of orthopaedic medicine.

The grant will provide up to $800,000 over a three-year period, making it the largest OREF grant ever awarded. OREF President David G. Lewallen, MD, noted that grants of this significance are only possible when the orthopaedic community joins together. “Whether it’s individual contributions or funding collaborations such as OREF’s ongoing partnership with NSCF, we should celebrate the power of unity to advance musculoskeletal science and the care of our patients. We are pleased that through this collaboration with NSCF, we are able to provide significant funding to an investigator whose research may result in better treatment options for a common and debilitating condition.”

Funding for the grant was provided by NSCF and individual donor contributions to the OREF James R. Urbaniak, MD Mentor Campaign. Dr. Urbaniak offered his congratulations to Dr. Mendias on being named the recipient of this grant and stated, “As a dedicated contributor and former OREF Board member, I have indeed been honored to partner with OREF to raise funds for grants such as this one. We have chosen to support research in the fields of regenerative medicine and cellular therapies as we believe that development in these areas will lead to significant and successful management of many common musculoskeletal impairments.”

“The ongoing collaboration between NSCF and OREF provides funding to accelerate the development and availability of adult stem cell therapies with the greatest potential for immediate impact,” said Dr. Paula Grisanti, Chairman & CEO of NSCF. “We join the orthopaedic community in congratulating Dr. Mendias on receiving this prestigious grant in honor of Dr. Urbaniak.”

About the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation

The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization committed to improving lives by supporting excellence in orthopaedic research.  OREF is dedicated to being the leader in supporting research that improves function, eliminates pain and restores mobility, and is the premier orthopaedic organization funding research across all specialties. A list of research and funding priorities is available at or by following @oreftoday on Twitter.

About the National Stem Cell Foundation

The National Stem Cell Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that funds adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research, connects children with limited resources to clinical trials advancing research into therapies for rare diseases and sponsors scholarships for middle school science teachers inspiring the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) pioneers nationwide.