NASS Awards $150,000 in Research Grants and Traveling Fellowships

During its 34th Annual Meeting, the North American Spine Society (NASS) announced the winners of its 2019 Research Grants and Traveling Fellowships.

The research grants provide funding for promising projects by qualified investigators in the spine care field. Since 1989, NASS has funded more than $3.9 million in grants for spine-related research.


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NASS Research Traveling Fellowships span at least 5 months at 1 medical center other than the facility at which the applicant currently practices. Clinical Traveling Fellowships span at least 1 month spent in 3 to 5 different medical centers studying spine techniques.

A total of $150,000 was awarded to this year’s recipients based on scientific merit, significance of the project, approach, and feasibility. Winners were selected by the NASS Research Project Management Committee and Research Council and approved by the NASS Executive Committee.

The 2019 Research Grant award winners are:


Grant: Young Investigator – Clinical

The Impact of Global Budgets on Cost, Access, Provider Practice Patterns and Complications in Elective Spine Surgery in Maryland

Principal Investigator: Berje Shammassian, MD

Amount: $8,274.25


Grant: Clinical

Does Opioid Tapering Prior to Spinal Fusion Improve Surgical Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Principal Investigator: Serena S. Hu, MD

Amount: $40,000; funding year 1 only of a 2-year grant


Grant: Basic

Investigating the Relationships Between Oedema and Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow and Pressure Following Spinal Cord Injury in a Large Animal Model

Principal Investigator: Claire Jones, PhD, MSc, BSc

Amount: $34,700.75; partial funding of budget requested


Grant: Translational

Released Tumor DNA (rtDNA) as a Biomarker of Radiation-Induced Tumor Killing in Metastatic Spine Disease

Principal Investigator: Daniel M. Sciubba, MD

Amount: $30,000; partial funding of budget requested


Grant: Clinical

Can Baseline Radiographic Findings Guide Surgical Technique Selection for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis?

Principal Investigator: Adam Pearson, MD, MS

Amount: $30,000


Clinical Traveling Fellowship

Abraham Tadele, MD

Sites: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine; University of Rochester Medical Center; MU Health Care-Missouri; Mount Sinai Hospital

Amount: $7,025

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