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Innovator Awards Overview

The Stepping Strong Innovator Awards program supports groundbreaking projects that address well-defined clinical problems in areas including bone, wound, and skin healing; limb transplant and reconstruction; bone and muscle regeneration; advanced stem cell technology; orthopaedic and plastic surgery; bioengineering, emergency preparedness and injury prevention.

The Stepping Strong Center’s model—bestowing seed grants to research teams that show great promise—has a proven track record, having resulted in significant federal funding to many research teams, leading to better patient outcomes and the potential for commercialization. To date, 21 physician-scientist teams have received grants totaling $3.3 million. In aggregate, Stepping Strong Center awardees have raised an additional $17.6 million in outside funding for their research.

Matthew Carty, MD, is an extraordinary case study. In 2016, he received the inaugural Stepping Strong Innovator Award for his project, Recovering Limb Function: A New Surgical Approach for the 21st Century, which sought to revolutionize the way we do lower extremity amputations. Just two years later, Carty performed the first clinical representation of his work. To date, he has received millions of dollars in outside funding and performed what is now known as the “Ewing Amputation” on nearly 20 patients. Carty recently received a Department of Defense grant to apply the procedure to upper limbs. The Stepping Strong Center is proud to have launched this remarkable work.

2019 Innovator Awards Recipients

Shailesh Agarwal, MD

Using Biologic Agents to Regenerate Muscles After Traumatic Injury

Leah Gitahn, MD

Improving Outcomes for Patients with Fracture-Related Infections

Bharti Khurana, MD

Making the Invisible Visible: Bringing Intimate Partner Violence into Focus

Feodor Price, PhD

A Cell Therapy Platform for Treating Skeletal Muscle Trauma

Marc Wein, MD, PhD

A Novel Approach to Stimulating Bone Regeneration and Repairing Fractures

2018 Innovator Awards Recipients

Natalie Artzi, PhD (left)

Using Gene Therapy and Antibiotic Delivery to Treat Bone Infections

Jenna Galloway, PhD, and Jessica Lehoczky, PhD

Identifying Drugs to Expedite the Healing of Orthopaedic Injuries

Mathias Kolle, PhD

Revealing Optimal Pressure in Compression Therapy using Color-changing Fibers

Yu Li, MD, PhD, and Zhigang He, PhD

Locomotion Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury

2017 Innovator Awards Recipient

Omid Farokhzad, MD

Multifunctional Scaffolds that Promote Bone Healing and Regeneration

Giorgio Giatsidis, MD, PhD

Mitigating Damage to Injured Limbs After Tourniquet Application

2016 Innovator Awards Recipients

Reza Abdi, MD

New Hope for Trauma Patients with Severe Burn Injuries

Michael J. Weaver, MD

21st Century Tools to Measure Bone Healing

2015 Innovator Awards Recipients

Edward J. Caterson, MD

Healing Injuries in the Traumatized Extremity: Protection, Decontamination, and Regeneration

Omid Farokhzad, MD

Healing Bones with Nanodrones: The Next Frontier in Orthopedic Trauma Surgery

Bohdan Pomahac, MD

From Battlefield to Bedside: A Portable Device for Rescuing Limbs

Su-Ryon Shin, PhD

3D Bioprinting: A New Approach to Healing Muscle Trauma

2014 Innovator Awards Recipients

Matthew J. Carty, MD

Recovering Limb Function: A New Surgical Approach For the 21st Century

George Dyer, MD

Repairing Large Traumatic Fractures: Using Silk-Based Orthopedic Implants to Promote Healing

Indranil Sinha, MD

Using Stem Cells to Regenerate Injured Muscle.

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