UC Davis Health officially opened its new Oak Park Lawrence J. Ellison Musculoskeletal Research Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 6. The new facility provides laboratories where faculty, residents, fellows, medical students, graduate and undergraduate students and visiting scholars can conduct broad interdisciplinary research in musculoskeletal tissue and cellular biomechanics, regeneration and repair.
David Lubarsky and Kent Leach discuss the new Musculoskeletal Research Center
“We are proud of our researchers across all disciplines who, amidst the pandemic, have remained at the forefront of finding answers to medicine’s toughest questions and health care’s most perplexing issues,” said David Lubarsky, CEO of UC Davis Health. “I deeply appreciate the power of discovery that will take place at this center as it does throughout UC Davis Health.”
The nearly 9,000 square foot research center houses a materials testing laboratory, cell and molecular biology facilities, tissue culture facilities, microscopy laboratory and microsurgery suite. Computing facilities are also available for mathematical modeling of mechanical stresses in skeletal structures and implants.
“I am incredibly excited as we open an important new chapter in the history of orthopaedic surgery at such a critical time for our research programs in musculoskeletal science, our educational efforts for emerging providers, and our patient community,” said R. Lor Randall, chair of orthopaedic surgery. “This center is further proof that we are creating and driving research growth opportunities for our faculty, trainees and medical students. We also recently achieved our highest ranking ever in the Blue Ridge NIH national rankings, moving up to 12, and experienced a five-fold growth in grant funding. I would like to thank everyone involved – donors, leadership, faculty and staff – who have made this research center possible.”
"I am incredibly excited as we open an important new chapter in the history of orthopaedic surgery at such a critical time for our research programs in musculoskeletal science, our educational efforts for emerging providers, and our patient community."
— R. Lor Randall
The Musculoskeletal Research Center will foster innovative research and partnerships, and create exciting new research opportunities for faculty, students, residents, and fellows. The ultimate goals are new discoveries and better patient care.
“Research centers like this are essential to fostering the curiosity and innovation that lead to health care breakthroughs,” said Susan Murin, interim dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine. “The infrastructure and opportunities for collaboration this center provides will help ensure that our medical school will continue to make groundbreaking discoveries that allow us to deliver tomorrow’s health care today and improve the lives of the patients and communities we serve.”
As the region's only academic health center, UC Davis Health is focused on harnessing the power of the entire university’s nationally ranked resources and research to tackle the most pressing health care issues facing the world today.
Kent Leach, R. Lor Randall and Susan Murin tour the new laboratories
In 2021, the School of Medicine achieved a new record of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding with more than $194 million in grants. This was an increase of about $13 million over the previous year.
“I am excited to see the formal launch of this research center that will further advance the application of sophisticated methodologies and elegant models, and the desire to translate basic research into real hope for patients,” said Kim E. Barrett, vice dean for research. “Focusing the research activities of orthopaedic surgery will promote synergies between research groups and across the basic-translational-clinical spectrum, providing new mechanistic understanding of musculoskeletal disorders.”
Recently and in a joint effort, the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering received the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 training program grant for their project entitled MUsculoSkeletal Clinical Learning Experience (MUSCLE).
"As researchers in this center, we must continue to capitalize on our expertise and envision how we can broadly support the patients of tomorrow.”
— Kent Leach
The program will be based out of the Musculoskeletal Research Center and provide students with a broad investigational experience in laboratory research focused on musculoskeletal health.
“This research center and programs like the MUSCLE T32 research grant will expand our knowledge, improve our educational offerings, and ultimately allow us to better understand the big picture of musculoskeletal health,” said Kent Leach, Lawrence J. Ellison Endowed Professor of Musculoskeletal Research and vice chair of research for orthopaedic surgery. “As researchers in this center, we must continue to capitalize on our expertise and envision how we can broadly support the patients of tomorrow.”
The Oak Park Lawrence J. Ellison Musculoskeletal Research Center is located at 2700 Stockton BLVD, in Sacramento. To learn more, visit the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery homepage.