The University of Washington, Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is committed to improving diversity not only in our department but in our orthopedics community as a whole. To this end, our department formed a committee, which meets regularly to discuss how to improve diversity and Inclusivity in Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. This committee is made up of passionate residents, faculty and staff. Through this committee we have be come leaders at UW Medicine and in the orthopaedics community to better reach under represented students. Our committee crafted the above statement to best encapsulate how our department's commitment to diversity and inclusivity. You can also view that statement here.
Our department partnered with Nth Dimensions to hold a bio skills lab, where faculty, residents and staff were present to help answer questions from students and to teach some of the skills that orthopaedic surgeons use in the OR. Our faculty also work with Doctor for a Day, where we work to inspire students of color to consider healthcare careers.
We send faculty and residents to the Annual Medical Education Conference Hosted by the Student National Medical Association. At this conference which celebrates diversity in medicine, we spoke with medical students who were interested in Orthopedic Surgery. We informed them about why we feel the University of Washington is one of the best Orthopedic Surgery programs in the country. We encouraged students to visit for sub internships and provided information regarding our available scholarships. We also have the opportunity to do some teaching at “Orthopods and Sawbones Workshop”.
Our faculty is investing in aspiring orthopaedic & sports medicine surgeons. We are pleased to announce our Diversity Visiting Student Scholarship Program! The Visiting Student Sub-Internship Program is a funded program designed to give students from a diverse background a chance to experience the exceptional training that the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington has to offer. To learn more about this fantastic opportunity please go here.
Click here to read our departments response to recent (Spring 2020) events in our community.
The Women Who Discovered RNA Splicing, Most scientists who played key roles in this Nobel Prize–winning breakthrough disappeared from public memory. Why does this injustice persist 40 years later? A great article from American Scientist: Most scientists who played key roles in this Nobel Prize–winning breakthrough disappeared from public memory. Why does this injustice persist 40 years later? (you will need to sign in with an @uw.edu address to view the article) or subscribe with American Scientist here
What's Important: Take a Knee: Our Collective Responsibility to Dismantle Systemic Racism - published in JBJS by Drs. Gregory T. Walker, Mario A. Taylor, and Howard A. Chansky
Ernesto Morgin Montes de Oca, one of our lab workers has moved on to Medical School! He has a great write up on his research below.
Institution: University of Washington School of Medicine (Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine)
Career Level: Post-Baccalaureate
Brief Research Summary: I am interested in using zebrafish to understand the biological mechanisms underlying genetic risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis has a strong genetic component, however the mechanisms by which genetic variation influences osteoporosis risk are mostly unknown. My research focuses on understanding how genetic variants at a particular genomic region called 7q31.31 (also known as the CPED1-WNT16 locus) influence lifelong bone mineral density (BMD). Zebrafish are a useful model for my study due to their external development, optical transparency, and amenability to rapid-throughput approaches.
Maria Rojas, a Research Scientist in the Musculoskeltal Systems Biology Lab, shares her experience working in the lab.
Research project: Identifying causal genes underlying genetic risk for osteosarcopenia
Description: Osteoporosis, a disease of bone fragility, and sarcopenia, a condition of reduced muscle mass and strength, commonly occur in the same individual--a condition termed osteosarcopenia. For this project, we seek to understand the mechanisms by which certain genetic variants have dual effects on human bone mineral density (BMD) and lean tissue mass. For this, we are using microCT imaging, image analysis, and genetic approaches in zebrafish. Through this research we hope to identify molecular pathways that stimulate coupled bone and muscle growth, and which can be targeted to treat osteoporosis and sarcopenia simultaneously.
"Through this REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates), I have had the opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of new instrumentation and computer programs/software in a nurturing environment. Being a part of the MSBL has made me certain that I want to pursue a career in research. This experience has also increased my lab confidence while equipping me with new skills that I will need to achieve my goal of conducting medical research."
The Musculoskeletal Systems Biology(MSB) lab was recently awarded over $400,000 from the National Institutes of Health(NIH) as part of NIH's efforts to recognize excellence in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility mentorship.
This financial support "recognizes the crucial role great mentors play in the development of future leaders in the scientific research enterprise."
Dr. Kwon’s co-mentors on this award include: Dr. Tam'ra-Kay Francis, Dr. Arianna Gomez, Jyoti Rai, Joyce Tang, and Dr. Howard Chansky.
Ronald Kwon, PhD, Associate Professor and MSB lab director, says they intend to use this award to support a cohort of post-baccalaureate and undergraduate trainees to foster their career development, implement a mentoring network, and develop peer mentoring strategies. He envisions that this will serve as a model that will inform future development of culturally responsive training environments.
Congratulations to Dr. Kwon and his fellow co-mentors on this prestigious award.