Two national orthopaedic organizations joined forces earlier this week to honor University of Rochester Medical Center Professor of Orthopaedics Randy Rosier, M.D., Ph.D. for his significant clinical, research and educational contributions to the field. The American Orthopaedic Association and the Orthopaedic Research Society presented Rosier with the The Alfred R. Shands, Jr., M.D. Award, which annually honors a physician who has dedicated a significant portion of their professional career to furthering knowledge of musculoskeletal disease.
For more than 25 years, Rosier has been a leading force in orthopaedics, both locally and nationally. His background in biophysics has allowed him to pursue musculoskeletal research with a clinician’s eye, and several of his more recent findings have the potential to change the way physicians treat common musculoskeletal conditions in the upcoming decade. Through active involvement and leadership with the field’s main professional associations, Rosier has helped set policy and direction for organizations including the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Orthopaedic Research Society, and the American Orthopaedic Association.
Rosier most recently served as Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the School of Medicine and Dentistry from 2000-2007. During his tenure, he is credited with achieving significant milestones for the department, including the establishment of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research to coordinate all intra- and inter-departmental research. This focused approach has paid dividends for the Department, which now is the country’s top-ranking musculoskeletal research center, based on funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Rosier also drove significant changes in the department’s clinical enterprise, overseeing the relocation of all orthopaedic and rehabilitation clinical services into one location at Clinton Crossings in 2001, a move that has helped make Rochester home to one of the nation’s busiest orthopaedic clinics in the nation. This success now serves as a model for many other Medical Center clinical services moving off-campus.
In 2007, Rosier announced he would step down as Chair to focus on his expanding research portfolio, which had recently landed a prestigious Center of Research Translation (CORT) grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Today, this $7.8 million grant is exploring a variety of cellular mechanisms that could have profound implications for the treatment of fractures and arthritis.
“No one has contributed more to the field of orthopaedics than Dr. Rosier over the last 25 years,” Regis O’Keefe, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedics. “His insights and unique ability to communicate and translate scientific progress to improvements in clinical care have advanced the care of patients throughout the world. From the operating room to the outpatient clinic, from the lecture halls to the research lab, there’s not been one area where he has not made a significant contribution to the field. I feel privileged to have worked beside him since I arrived in Rochester, and I am grateful that Dr. Rosier has chosen to continue his career here.”
An accomplished author of hundreds of published journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters, Rosier’s interest in biophysics has been a main driver in both his clinical and research focus areas. His research relates to growth factor regulation and signaling in bone and cartilage, as well as molecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis and radiation damage to skeletal tissues. It is through his research that physicians now better understand the mechanisms behind bone tumor metastasis.
On the clinical side, Rosier helped establish Rochester’s first specialty clinics to treat osteoporosis and bone cancer. Through his work with the tumor clinic, Rosier introduced to Rochester the concept of limb salvage to treat bone sarcomas in both adults and children.
After receiving his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Rochester, Rosier completed his orthopaedic surgery residency and his fellowship in orthopaedics at the University of Iowa. He then returned to the University of Rochester as an assistant professor, and within 10 years, achieved the rank of Professor of Orthopaedics.
“I am honored to receive the Shands Award, named after someone who was so instrumental in defining the scope of orthopaedic research, education and patient care,” Rosier said.