Required Research

Each orthopaedic resident is required to complete a Harbor research project by the end of the PGY3 year. A faculty advisor supervises the research activity of that resident and frequently collaborates in the design, execution and completion of the project. All research projects are conducted under the auspices of LA BioMed.

Each PGY3 Harbor research project is presented at the Annual Orthopaedic Education/Alumni Day Scientific Program held at the end of the academic year by the department. Residents are encouraged to also submit their research projects for presentation at regional and national meetings, and for consideration for publication.

A research project is also required during the Shriners Hospital rotation and the Shriners Hospital rotation. Research topics will be chosen from the areas of clinical exposure on these rotations which consist of: orthopaedic oncology, joint arthroplasty/adult reconstruction, adult and adolescent sport medicine, foot and ankle, spine, and pediatrics. Each resident can choose or will be assigned a faculty advisor to provide guidance and oversight. It is expected that these projects will also be prepared for presentation at regional or national meetings. Each resident is encouraged to prepare a manuscript of their research work for submission for consideration for publication.

Faculty Supported Research

Each week, all residents are provided on average with 4 hours of protected time, free of clinical responsibilities, for study and basic science instruction. In addition, each of the subspecialty orthopaedic services has one half day per week free of clinic and operating room commitments for utilization in self-directed educational activities.

Every PGY3 resident will receive a three-month dedicated block of Basic Science/Research time to pursue the educational activities described for surgical and gross anatomy, anatomic and surgical pathology, as well as the pursuit of a basic or clinical research project to be presented at the end of the academic year.

Multiple resources are available to support resident research at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) oversees all research activities at the hospital. Facilities available include a free-standing vivarium and separate operating facilities for the use of animals in research. LA BioMed biostatisticians are also available for the performance of data analysis as well as study design. Within the hospital building itself, the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) is a dedicated ward for the inpatients involved in clinical trials. This facility is staffed by full-time research nurses. Freezers, centrifuges, refrigerators, and clinical laboratory equipment are on-site at the GCRC for exclusive use in clinical research activities.

Within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC), near the Orthopaedic in-patient ward, consolidates all educational activities for the department. Computers in the OLC are tied into the hospital Health and Information System and allow retrieval of clinical data for research. Internet access also allows electronic retrieval from medical databases and online academic journals 24 hours a day. Funding for involvement in multi-center clinical trials is typically provided by the study sponsor, e.g., a device manufacturer or pharmaceutical firm. Unrestricted educational grants from alumni as well as industry are used to support research activities including resident travel for presentation at scientific meetings.

OrB3iT Alliance with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

The Orthopaedic Biology, Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Tribology (OrB3iT) Group headed by Dr. Fabrizio Billi, has entered into a formal Alliance with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. OrB3iT brings unique Orthopaedic research opportunities due to extensive capabilities found in few Orthopaedic research laboratories around the world.

The Alliance will provide a synergistic environment that will:

  • Increase interaction among surgeons and researchers to address unmet clinical needs.
  • Increase exposure of residents to the research environment providing a unique opportunity for hands on work and laboratory experience.
  • Increase productive, collaborative interactions among surgeons, researchers and industrial partners.
  • Stimulate interdisciplinary collaborative research efforts
  • Provide a scientifically stimulating environment.
  • Increase output of intellectual property (IP)
  • Improve the quality of patient outcomes and satisfaction.

The Alliance will increase the international visibility and recognition of both the Harbor-UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the OrB3iT Program.