John C. Elfar, M.D.

John C. Elfar, M.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 665
Rochester, NY 14642

Administrative: (585) 273-3157
Fax: (585) 276-1134
Office: (585) 273-3157

Lab Information

The Center for Musculoskeletal Research houses nearly 70 MD and PhD researchers and graduate and post-doctoral students. This team has been the top orthopaedics lab in the United States since 2006.

Visit Lab Website »

View Research Network »

Research Bio

We are currently engaged in multiple research projects in the clinical, translational, and basic science realms.

In the laboratory we are dividing efforts between studies on the neuroregeneration and tendon healing.

Our neuroscientific research is centered on the effect of erythropoietin (EPO) on regenerating peripheral nerve function. This research is motivated by the potent effect which EPO has on injured nerves. This effect, along with the functional changes in nerve which must underlie EPO mediated recovery, is currently under investigation in both in vitro and in vivo models of peripheral nerve injury.

Our second interest in the laboratory centers on the biology of tendon healing including the tendon to bone insertion. We have focused on the rotator cuff insertion site as a putative venue for the study of agents capable of promoting functional healing of tendon to bone through the complex array of structures which make the transition from tendon to bone.

Clinical and translational studies currently focus on topics based on the above mentioned basic science research. We are currently undertaking multiple projects on intratendinous and tendon to bone healing as well as severe nerve injuries.

We are at the beginning of our journey into the many research projects which eminate from our clinical and translational interests. As such, we benefit from collaboration, and help of any kind. Please contact for ways you can help.

Awards & Honors (National)

ASSH Hand Surgeon Scientist Award - NIH K Award 5 Year Support | American Society for Surgery of the Hand AFSH/PSF 2013 - 2018
American Orthopaedic Association North American Traveling Fellowship | American Orthopaedic Association 2011
25 Sports Medicine Physicians Honored-American Orthopaedic Society / North American Traveling Fellowship 2011 - 2011
Emerging Leader - American Orthopaedic Association | American Orthopaedic Association 2008 - Present
Young Leader - American Society for Surgery of the Hand | American Society for Surgery of the Hand 2008 - Present
Resident Leader Program (Zimmer- American Orthopaedic Association) | American Orthopaedic Association 2007

Awards & Honors (Local)

Julian Bruner Award American Society for Surgery of the Hand | American Society for Surgery of the Hand 2009
Kenneth E DeHaven Award for Outstanding Orthopaedic Research | Plato Schwartz Lectureship-Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery | University of Rochester Medical Center 2007
Clinician Scientist Training Program | American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2007
Efforts in Diversity Award | Harvard Medical School 2002
National Research Service Award | NIH 2000
Traveling Fellowship | Society for Neuroscience 1999 - 2000
Richard Allen Williams Fellowship | American Board of Cardiology 1998
Research Fellowship | DuPont Merck Harvard Medical School 1998
Academic All American | USA TODAY 1996
Medical Scientist Training Program Award Recipient 1996 - 1999
Faculty for the Future Fellowship | General Electric Foundation 1995 - 1996
Howard Hughes Undergraduate Fellowship (declined) 1995
The John Hopkins University Biomedical Engineering Research Award 1995
National Torchbearer Award | NSBE 1995 - 1996
Whitaker Foundation Undergraduate Fellowship 1995
Baylor College of Medicine/Rice University Premedical Academy | MMEP 1995
OMSA Academic Honor Award | John Hopkins University 1992 - 1996

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 72 available »

2016 Sep 1
Sundem L, Chris Tseng KC, Li H, Ketz J, Noble M, Elfar J. "Erythropoietin Enhanced Recovery After Traumatic Nerve Injury: Myelination and Localized Effects." The Journal of hand surgery. 2016 Sep 1; Epub 2016 Sep 01.
2016 Aug 8
Zingman A, Li H, Sundem L, DeHority B, Geary M, Fussel T, Mooney R, Zuscik M, Elfar J. "Shoulder arthritis secondary to rotator cuff tear: A reproducible murine model and histopathologic scoring system." Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society. 2016 Aug 8; Epub 2016 Aug 08.
2016 Jun
Speach DP, Elfar JC. "Reply." Muscle & nerve. 2016 Jun; 53(6):998-9. Epub 2016 Apr 27.
2016 Jun
Ikpeze TC, Elfar JC. "The Geriatric Driver: Factors That Influence When to Stop Driving." Geriatric orthopaedic surgery & rehabilitation. 2016 Jun; 7(2):106-9. Epub 2016 Apr 24.
2016 May
Lander ST, Coppola E, Tyler W, Elfar JC. "A Peculiar Primary Paraganglioma of the Distal Thumb." The Journal of hand surgery. 2016 May; 41(5):e91-4. Epub 2016 Mar 09.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Orthopaedics (SMD) - Primary


Surgery of the Hand - American Board of Surgery
Sports Medicine - American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery - American Board of Surgery


MD | Harvard Medical School2002
Bachelor's Degree | Biomedical Engineering | Johns Hopkins University1996
Bachelor's Degree | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Johns Hopkins University1996

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in Hand Surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital07/01/2007 - 07/31/2008
Fellowship in Orthopaedics at Massachusetts General Hospital10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
Residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry06/26/2003 - 06/25/2007
Internship in General Surgery at University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry06/25/2002 - 06/30/2003