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Kappa Delta Foundation Announces Annual Orthopaedic Research Award Recipients

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – Each year, the Kappa Delta Foundation presents the Kappa Delta Orthopaedic Research Awards, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of orthopaedic research. Three $20,000 awards were given through the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to researchers who have made key discoveries and advanced the field of orthopaedics. The 2020 recipients are as follows:

Kappa Delta Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award

Carl Deirmengian, M.D. developed the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared diagnostic test in the field of orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Deirmengian’s 15 years of research in synovial fluid eventually led to the development of the Alpha-defensin Lateral Flow Test as an aid in the detection and evaluation of Periprosthetic Joint Infection (PJI). Prior to this authorization, there were no FDA-approved diagnostic tests specifically designed to help health care professionals determine whether the inflammation around a prosthetic joint was due to an infection or another cause. This research was co-authored by Keith Kardos, Ph.D.

Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughn Award

Marc Swiontkowski, M.D. conducted a trial comparing the utilization of cancellous screws, or sliding hip screws, for internal fixation for undisplaced and displaced fractures. A concurrent trial was conducted to compare hemiarthroplasty procedures and total hip arthroplasty procedures for displaced femoral neck fractures. The research was co-authored by Mohit Bhandari, M.D. and The Fixation Using Alternative Implants for the Treatment of Hip Fractures (FAITH) Committee.

Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award

Alice Huang, Ph.D. performed research on tendon development, regeneration and scar formation. Previously, the limited understanding of tendon biology has restricted the ability to repair tendons. To explore their biology, Dr. Huang and her colleagues utilized genetic tools and bioengineering approaches to use artificial tissues to replace damaged parts of the body. The researchers found that applying decorin, a component of the tendon’s extracellular matrix, to injuries may result in early reduction of scarring and improved tendon movement. The research was co-authored by Leesa Galatz, M.D. and Ronen Schweitzer, Ph.D.

Kappa Delta Sorority and Foundation are committed to making a difference in the lives of others through distinguished partnerships with organizations like the AAOS. In 1947, Kappa Delta established the Kappa Delta Research Fellowship in Orthopaedics to honor achievements in the field of orthopaedic research. The first annual award was presented at the AAOS meeting in 1950. Since then, more than 175 orthopaedic surgeons and researchers have received an AAOS award from Kappa Delta.

Established in 1981, the Kappa Delta Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to secure funds for the educational, leadership and charitable purposes of Kappa Delta Sorority. The foundation is supported by member donations and bequests that fund programs and initiatives such as scholarships, internships, grants and more. Kappa Delta National Headquarters is in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information, visit www.kappadelta.org/foundation.


Melissa Hammer