Bryan W. Cunningham, PhD, Will Lead MedStar Orthopaedics Spinal Research Efforts

Forms New MedStar Musculoskeletal Education and Research Institute

March 29, 2018

BALTIMORE, Md.(March 26, 2018)—Bryan W. Cunningham, PhD, has joined MedStar Health to lead the newly formed MedStar Musculoskeletal Education and Research Institute, a system wide research initiative in collaboration with the MedStar Health Research Institute, to expand and enhance existing research efforts in the areas of degenerative, deformity, traumatic, and congenital pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.

Based at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Dr. Cunningham will oversee a team of researchers who will delve into key questions and issues facing the musculoskeletal research field. The multidisciplinary research center will include a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines, including biomechanical testing, histology, radiography, in-vivo biological modeling, and clinical research.

A seasoned research leader with 30 years experience, Dr. Cunningham was previously director of Orthopaedic Research Institute at The University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center; and director of spinal research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

“The size and scope of the existing musculoskeletal research efforts will provide a great base for Dr. Cunningham to build upon,” said Paul J. Tortolani, MD, director of the MedStar Union Memorial Spine Program. “He is experienced in leading research programs at MedStar Health and at other institutions. We are thrilled to have him on board.”

Dr. Cunningham will establish alliances to collaborate on research with academic leaders, institutions and private industries on a national and international basis.

He will also manage pre-clinical trials to support basic research and oversee regulatory submissions for private industry. Dr. Cunningham will develop a non-clinical research fellowship program to enhance the learning experience for foreign medical graduates and provide guidance to medical students, orthopaedic residents, fellows, and attending surgeons in their related research projects. He will also generate and oversee the submission process for high-quality peer-reviewed journal publications and abstracts.

Dr. Cunningham has published more than 130 articles in peer-reviewed research journals and 13 book chapters on current topics in spinal reconstructive surgery, biomechanical fixation, and surgical techniques. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Medical Science at Griffith University in Gold Coast, Australia. He earned a master’s degree in neuroscience from The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in musculoskeletal spinal research from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He is associate editor of Spine Deformity, and he reviews manuscripts for Spine, Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, The Spine Journal, European Spine Journal, and the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

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About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the world, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979). In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement, CARF-accredited in inpatient rehabilitation and Curtis Work Rehabilitation Services, and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]