Orthopaedic Clinical Research Center

Since its founding, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has been a consistent leader in clinical orthopaedic research. Innovative research is being actively conducted across all the subspecialty areas to further insights into the development, progression, and outcomes of musculoskeletal disease and injury. Findings from clinical research ultimately inform approaches to optimize patient treatment.

The Orthopaedic Clinical Research Center (OCRC) is a newly established effort to centralize research activities, elevate the quality and efficiency of research studies, and provide education and enrichment opportunities for Department of Orthopaedic Surgery faculty, research staff, and trainees.

Led by faculty director Rick Wright, MD, the early efforts of the OCRC include:

  • Recruiting a clinical epidemiologist, Elizabeth Yanik, PhD, to assist with research design, allowing department researchers to ensure methodologically for rigorous clinical research projects.
  • Adding embedded biostatistics support to assist faculty, research staff, and trainees in project development and data analysis.
  • Developing an internal system for ethical review of new clinical research studies in order to optimize study protocols and designs prior to institutional ethical review.
  • Transitioning to electronic data collection for all prospective studies using the REDCap system and hiring a REDCap superuser to provide support for design and use of electronic data capture instruments.

Our Orthopaedic Clinical Research Team

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Core Services

Administrative Core

Our administrative core oversees the management of the OCRC and specifically aids with study coordination and implementation.

  • Guidance is available to help address logistical issues with study implementation and multi-center study coordination.
  • Support is provided to identify appropriate staff to assist with clinical research studies (including new hires when needed).
  • Ethical review of research protocols by experienced research coordinators is provided prior to submission to the Washington University institutional review board.

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core

Our epidemiology and biostatistics core provides an array of services related to study design, data collection, and statistical analyses.  

  • Epidemiology consultations are available to assist with developing methodologic approaches that appropriately align with research questions. This includes aiding with decisions about sample selection, measurement methods, and statistical plans.  
  • Electronic data collection for new, prospective clinical research studies will be facilitated through the use of the Research Electonic Data Capture (REDCap) application. Our REDCap superuser is available to help with the development of new data collection instruments.   
  • Biostatistics support is available to conduct sample size/power calculations to guide study planning, and to implement statistical analyses.

Grants and Education Core

Our grants and education core offers investigators the opportunity to improve their grantsmanship and clinical research expertise.

  • Prior to submission, grant applications can be reviewed by experienced researchers.  Investigators will gain feedback on clearly communicating the significance of their proposal, outlining specific research aims and corresponding hypotheses, and developing a detailed study approach.  
  • Our departmental grants library allows investigators to learn from past successful research proposals.
  • Educational seminars will be organized for faculty and research personnel to improve skills relevant to clinical research and to learn about cutting-edge research.


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