(L-R, Ganesh Thiagarajan, PhD (UMKC); Amy Whitaker, KCU Anatomy Fellow; Barth Wright, PhD, KCU faculty)
KCU researchers joined scientists from three other local medical institutions to present research findings during the Kansas City Musculoskeletal Diseases Consortium (KCMD) on Dec. 15.
KCU, along with The University of Missouri, University of Missouri-Kansas City and University of Kansas Medical Center, created the consortium focused on bone and muscle research. The group formed in 2015 to help local research institutions come together and compete for research dollars.
When it comes to one person or a single institution focused on trying to answer the challenging research questions, KCU Anatomy Professor Barth Wright, PhD, said, “That just doesn’t work anymore.”
“The questions are becoming deeper and more complex because of the technologies,” Dr. Wright added. “You really need collaboration to do something that provides answers to some of these more complex questions.”
The daylong event was hosted at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Jingsong Zhou, KCU professor of Physiology, began the day by discussing her ALS research findings in a presentation titled, "Establishing a role for cell membrane repair in ALS disease progression.” KCU associate professor Abdulbaki Agbas also took part in two presentations; “Trial of Oxaloacetic Acid in ALS” and “TDP43 in ALS Patients.”
In an example of collaborations between the institutions, KCU Anatomy Fellow Amy Whitaker and UMKC Civil Engineering Professor Ganesh Thiagarajan, PhD, both took the stage to discuss their research focused on the Anterolateral Ligament in the rotational control of the knee. The ongoing project includes Wright, and KCU alum Matt Daggett, DO, an orthopedic surgeon in Blue Spring, Mo.
“We don’t live in a bubble,” Whitaker said when asked about the importance of collaborating with UMKC. “If we want to do research properly, we need to bring in the people that know the engineering aspect better than we do.”