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Awards details



International Award Year 2021



The team is a unique and multidisciplinary consisting of Spine surgeons (Dr S Rajasekaran, Dr Dilipchand Raja, Dr Vijay Anand, Dr Ajoy Prasad Shetty, Dr Rishi Mugesh Kanna), Radiologist (Dr Pushpa), Basic Science Specialists (Dr Raveendran Muthurajan, Dr Chitra Tangavel, Mrs Sharon Nayagam, Mrs Sunmathi and Mrs Steffi).

Dr. (Prof) S Rajasekaran  Dr. Ajoy Prasad Shetty  Dr. Rishi Mugesh Kanna 

North American Spine Society Research Award 2021

"Coimbatore Ganga Hospital’s Spine Research Team headed by Prof S Rajasekaran wins prestigious international “North American Spine Society Outstanding Research Award for the third consecutive time. The Spine research team of Ganga Hospital, headed by Dr.S.Rajasekaran, the pioneering research team in the field of spine surgery have won the prestigious “North American Spine Society Outstanding Research Award” for the third consecutive year. The team headed by Dr S Rajasekaran attempted to identify at molecular level the causes for variability of outcomes amongst patients with degenerative disc disease and identify molecular targets for biological repair of discs which could be probed for regenerative interventions in future. The unique research paper titled “ Why do Modic changes result in poor clinical outcomes?” has won global recognition by competing with hundreds of entrees across the globe. Recipient of many national and international recognitions, the team has set a new record by winning the North American Spine Society Outstanding Research Award for the third time consecutively this year. One of the most prestigious and valued award in spine surgery, the award is a joint initiative by the North American Spine Society (NASS) and the internationally renowned The Spine Journal (TSJ) which has one of the highest impact factor for spine speciality international journals. This award is fiercely competed by researchers from all over the world and the award winning paper is published as a lead article in the journal and also invited to be presented in the Annual Meeting of the NASS conducted in the US. The award also carries a cash prize of USD 10,000. 2021 Award This year, the team’s research paper on “Why do Modic Changes Result in Poor Clinical Outcomes? – Novel Insights from Proteomic analysis of Lumbar discs with Modic changes” has won the outstanding research paper award by NASS. The research is a perfect example of ‘Bed to bench-side’ research which actually looks at a clinical problem and to solve it using advanced lab experiments. Many patients who have low back pain do poorly with both medical and surgical treatment while others have excellent results with the same therapy and surgery. The team this question specifically and analysed the biological basis of this poor outcome. Disc material from patients undergoing microdiscectomy were analysed by proteomics and the overall expression of proteins, biological processes, protein-protein and metabolite interactions were analysed. The study identified many inflammatory molecules and human defense response proteins, all of which raised the possibility of the presence of pre-existant sub clinical infection. Significance of the research Worldwide, low back pain significantly reduces the quality of life of nearly 70% of the patients worldwide causing a considerable economic and social impact. Degenerative disc disease is the commonest cause of low back pain. Irrespective of the etiology, the terminal inflammation causes disintegration of the extra cellular matrix resulting in altered spinal biomechanics and chronic low back pain. While the previous five decades have mainly concentrated on surgical intervention with advanced instruments, research in regenerative medicine to solve the problem has been limited and mainly restricted to animal studies. We attempted to identify at molecular level the causes for variability of outcomes amongst patients and also identify molecular targets for biological repair of discs which could be probed for regenerative interventions in future. Ganga Research Centre Ganga Research Centre was established by Ganga Orthopaedic Research & Education Foundation which is a recognized research centre of the Department of Science & Technology, India. It has a very successful model for having both clinical (surgeons and radiologists) and basic science researchers (specialists in proteomics, genetics, biotechnology and bioinformatics). For the last many years, the research team has been performing cutting-edge clinical and basic science research in the field of low back pain and spinal cord injuries. Their research has been recognized world wide by numerous awards such as the prestigious ISSLS Awards four times in the years 2004, 2010, 2013 and 2017.EuroSpine Worldwide Open Research Award in 2008, Asia Pacific Spine Society Awards and BritSpine Award. The team has more than 200 international research publications in highly acclaimed peer reviewed journals. The team is a unique and multidisciplinary consisting of Spine surgeons (Dr S Rajasekaran, Dr Dilipchand Raja, Dr Vijay Anand, Dr Ajoy Prasad Shetty, Dr Rishi Mugesh Kanna), Radiologist (Dr Pushpa), Basic Science Specialists (Dr Raveendran Muthurajan, Dr Chitra Tangavel, Mrs Sharon Nayagam, Mrs Sunmathi and Mrs Steffi). Incidentally, the centre has also been recognised as an ‘Advanced Centre for the study on Low Back Pain and Disc Degeneration’ by the Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India."