UC Irvine’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery is pleased to announce that two of our fourth-year residents brought home two out of four 2016 California Orthopedic Association Resident Awards. Dr. Minal Tapadia (under the mentorship of Dr. Ranjan Gupta) was awarded the Orthopedic Institute for Children Resident Award, while Dr. Tyler Moore (under the mentorship of Dr. Martin Tynan and Dr. Thay Lee) was awarded the J. Harold LaBriola, M.D. Resident Award. They will each be presenting their research at the 2016 Annual California Orthopedic Association Meeting at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Ranjan Gupta, Dr. Tapadia won the Orthopedic Institute for Children award for her project entitled "Attenuation of Robust Glial Scar Formation after Chronic Nerve Compression Injury Can Facilitate Functional Recovery." The project is ongoing and involves examining how neural scarring may contribute to the persistent deficits in nerve function seen after longstanding nerve compression injuries. The project helped elucidate that neural scarring is formed of several molecules, including collagen II, laminin, and fibronectin as well as a family of molecules called chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans that are known to contribute to scar in spinal cord injury. They also took an enzyme called chondroitinase ABC, and injected it into compressed nerves in animal models to see if it might help improve nerve function. The preliminary results are encouraging with some improvement noted in nerve conduction velocities. The team is continuing to make strides in an effort to help patients who suffer from these often debilitating conditions.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Martin Tynan, Dr. Moore performed a biomechanical study to investigate the effect thumb positioning and loads on finger and wrist flexor tendons have on scaphoid movement before and after a fracture. The study demonstrated that loading of finger/wrist flexor tendons displaced a previously non-displaced scaphoid fracture. This study has tremendous potential in helping to resolve a longstanding controversy in the scientific literature regarding how best to treat non-operative scaphoid fractures.