Faculty Profile: Roy Aaron, MD

Roy Aaron
Roy Aaron, MD
Professor of Orthopaedics
Bio Med Orthopaedics
Work: +1 401-274-9660
Clinical interests center on joint diseases and bone circulation, particularly in OA and osteonecrosis. Recent studies have involved delineating the role of arthroscopy in OA and elucidating the role of bone marrow edema in joint pain. In the laboratory, Dr. Aaron is investigating aspects of the pathophysiology of OA focusing on circulatory disturbances in subchondral bone and the relationship of bone and cartilage abnormalities. He has recently obtained funds for a study of amniotic stem cells for cartilage replacement.

Biography

Roy K. Aaron, M.D. is professor of orthopaedic surgery and professor of molecular pharmacology, physiology and biotechnology. He is Director of the Brown/VA Center for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine and the Brown Program for Recovery from Trauma. Dr. Aaron is also the Director of the Orthopaedic Cell Biology Laboratory and of Clinical Research for the Department.

Dr. Aaron graduated from Lafayette College and SUNY Downstate Medical School. He did an internship in internal medicine at Montefiore Hospital - Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and a year of general surgery residency at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, Staten Island, New York. Dr. Aaron completed a surgical research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, a residency in the Harvard Orthopaedic Program and a fellowship in arthritis surgery at the Robert Brigham Hospital in Boston. He then returned to NIH for three years of research in cartilage biochemistry.

Institutions

RIH

Grants and Awards

2010 Chair, Surgical Interventions and Rehabilitation Study Section, Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, Department of Defense

2010 Discussor, VA/DoD State of the Art Conference: "Prosthetics and Orthotics", Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs

2010 Faculty, Orthopaedic Research Society/ Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation/ American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Grant Writing Course

2010 Presenter, "VA/DoD Collaborations", Center Director's Conference; Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs

2010 NIH CSR Special Emphasis Panel, Musculoskeletal, Oral and Skin Sciences IRG

2010 Moderator, "Imaging", Musculoskeletal Biology and Bioengineering Gordon Research Conference

2009 NIH CSR Special Emphasis Panel, Musculoskeletal, Oral and Skin Sciences IRG

2009 Moderator, "Visualizing Skeletal Pathology", 3rd New York Symposium on Skeletal Biology and Medicine

2007-2009 Board of Directors, Orthopaedic Research Society

2008 Faculty, Orthopaedic Research Society/ Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation/ American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Grant Writing Course

2007 Moderator, "Subchondral Bone and Osteoarthritis", Orthopaedic Research Society

2007 Moderator, "Orthopaedic War Injuries - From Combat Casualty Care to Definitive Treatment" Orthopaedic Research Society/ American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Combined Symposium

2007 Moderator, "Infection, Inflammation, and Bone", 2nd Conference on Skeletal Biology and Medicine, New York Academy of Sciences

2006 Lifetime Achievement Award, NE Arthritis Foundation: "New Paradigms in the Management of Joint Diseases"

2005 Brown University Search Committee for the Vice President of Research (Chair)

2004 NIH, CSR, Special Study Section

1998-2003 NIH Study Section, Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Disease

1997-2003 Committee on Research, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

2003 Chair, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Scientific Workshop, "Physical Regulation of Skeletal Repair"

2003 Organizer, "Physical Regulation of Skeletal Repair" Symposium, Orthopaedic Research Society

2003 Master of Arts (ad eun.), Brown University

2002 NIH, NIAMS, Special Study Section

2001 NIH, NIAMS, Special Study Section

2001 NIH, CSR, Special Study Section

2001 Moderator, "Bone Biology", Orthopaedic Research Society

2000 Moderator, "Osteoarthritis", Orthopaedic Research Society

1999-2000 Surdna Foundation Fellow, Brown University Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research

1998 NIH, NIEHS Science Review Symposium: Clinical and In Vivo Laboratory Findings. Rapporteur: "Tissue Healing"

1997 Moderator, "Stimulation of Bone and Cartilage" Second World Congress for Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine

1997 NIH, NIEHS Science Review Symposium: In Vitro Studies

1994-1995 Council, Second World Congress for Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine

1994 Moderator, "Chondrocyte Responses to Mechanical and Electrical Stimuli", Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine

1994 Moderator, "Models of Physical Signal Detection," Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine

1994 Moderator, "Clinical Symposium on Bioelectromagnetics in Medicine," Bioelectromagnetics Society

1994 Moderator, "Medical Applications of Electric and Magnetic Fields," Bioelectromagnetics Society

1993 Moderator, "In Vivo Modeling Techniques," Bioelectrical Repair and Growth Society

1991-1992 Chairman, Medical/Scientific Committee, Rhode Island Arthritis Foundation

1991-1992 President, Bioelectrical Repair and Growth Society

1990-1992 Council and Chairman, Clinical Program Committee, First World Congress for Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine

1986-1992 Committee on Basic Science, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

1992 Moderator, "Clinical Applications," First World Congress for Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine

1991 Moderator, "Field Effects on Bone and Cartilage," Bioelectrical Repair and Growth Society

1990 Moderator, "Bone and Cartilage Stimulation," Bioelectrical Repair and Growth Society

1990 Moderator, "Mechanisms of Response to Electromagnetic Fields in Bone Healing," Bioelectromagnetics Society

1989-1992 Council, Bioelectrical Repair and Growth Society

1989-1991 Program Committee, Bioelectrical Repair and Growth Society

1989 Moderator, "Clinical Experience with Pulsing Electromagnetic Fields," Bioelectrical Repair and Growth Society

1989 Moderator, "Application of Time-Varying Fields for Tissue Healing," Bioelectromagnetics Society

1989 Moderator, "Growth Factors and Bone," Orthopaedic Research Society

1989 Program Committee, Orthopaedic Research Society

1988-1989 Program Committee, Bioelectromagnetics Society

1987 Iwao Yasuda Award (B.R.A.G.S.) for Excellence in Bioelectrical Research

Affiliations

2010-Present Internal Advisory Committee, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Brown University

2003-Present Scientific Team, Brown - NIH Osteoarthritis Initiative

2009 Clinical and Translational Neurosciences Advisory Council, Lifespan Academic Medical Center

2009 Speaker, "Development Perspective on Regeneration", State of the Science Workshop: Regenerative Rehabilitation, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

2009 NE Representative, Arthritis Foundation Osteoarthritis Alliance Leadership Group

2005-2008 Special Projects and Education Committee, Orthopaedic Research Society (Chair 2007)

2008 Speaker, "Perfusion Abnormalities in Subchondral Bone Associated with Marrow Edema, OA and AVN", Musculoskeletal Biology and Bioengineering Gordon Research Conference

2003-2006 Strategic Planning Subcommittee, Curriculum Committee, Brown Medical School

2006 Brown Corporation Spring Meeting: "Program for Recovery from Trauma"

2006 Speaker, "War Extremity Injuries" AAOS Symposium

2005 Speaker, "Skeletal Development and Remodeling in Health, Disease and Aging" New York Academy of Sciences Symposium

2005 Speaker, "Developmental Sequences in Clinical Orthopedics and Their Modulation by Sequential Drug Delivery" Controlled Release Society

2002-2005 Instructional Course Lecturer, "Osteonecrosis", American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

2003-2004 Brown University Search Committee for the Dean of Biology and Medicine

2004 Reviewer, Orthopaedic Basic Science, 3rd edition, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

2000-2003 Curriculum Committee, Brown Medical School

2003 Brown Medical School LCME Task Force for Reaccreditation

2003 Brown Medical School Search Committee for Director, Division of Rheumatology

2003 Delphi Panel on Osteonecrosis, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

2001 Brown Medical School Search Committee for Ehrlich Chair of Orthopedic Research

2000 Faculty, Harvard Hip Course

2000 Program Committee, Orthopaedic Research Society

1997 Speaker, Skeletal Morphogenesis Workshop, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

1997 Faculty, Harvard Hip Course

1996-1997 Discusser, "Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head,"
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

1996 Speaker, Duke University Symposium on Etiology, Diagnosis and Management of Osteonecrosis

1993-1995 Instructional Course Lecturer, "Osteonecrosis,"
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

1994 Faculty, Harvard Hip Course

1992 Special Interest Symposium Lecturer, American Society for Cell Biology

Funded Research

VA A3772C
Director
Center for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine
$13,425,000
2004-2014
The goal of this grant is to develop technologically advanced solutions to functional loss after limb trauma. Approaches include robotic prosthetics, neuro prosthetics interfaces, limb lengthening and tissue engineering.

W81XWH-10-1-0643
Department of Defense
Principal Investigator
Engineering Replacement Tissues with Amniotic Stem Cells
$1,401,000
2010-2012
Engineering tissues with amniotic stem cells, 3-D matrices, and mechanical strain to repair articular cartilage defects in trauma and arthritis.

2K24AR002128-08
NIH
Principal Investigator
Physicochemical Signaling in Osteoarthritis
$632,000
2008-2012
Explores vascular dynamics in subchondral bone in osteoarthritis.

1P20RR024484-01
NIH
Mentor
COBRE for Skeletal Health and Repair
2007-2012
The goal of this research is to elucidate cartilage tissue engineering strategies for joint repair by optimizing biochemical and biophysical microenvironment that promotes chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation.

W81XWH-07-1-0689
Department of Defense
Principal Investigator
Virtual Reality and Motion Analysis to Characterize Disabilities in Lower Limb Injury
$849,000
2009-2011
This project will test the hypothesis that the VENLab can characterize gait and movement disabilities due to lower limb injury, and response to treatment in precise, quantitative and relevant ways.

Hermann Foundation
Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering
Principal Investigator
$275,000
2007-2010
Support for nanotechnology and nanotextured scaffolds in tissue engineering of articular cartilage.

W81XWH-07-1-0689
Department of Defense
Principal Investigator
PTSD in Limb Trauma and Recovery
$937,000
2007-2009
Coordinated examination of post traumatic stress disorder and limb trauma in wounded Iraq veterans.

AstraZeneca
Principal Investigator
The Role of Bone Perfusion in the
Progression of Osteoarthritis: Identification of New Mechanisms and Pathways
$277,000
2007-2009
Quantitative studies of oxygen gradients and pressure in bone marrow edema determined by contrast-enhanced MR imaging.

NIH K24 AR 02128
Principal Investigator
Identification and Treatment of Osteonecrosis of the Hip
$543,375
1999-2007
This grant developed patient-oriented research methods emphasizing coagulopathies in osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis after corticosteroid use. The benefits of early MRI screening of patients at risk of developing avascular necrosis was established.

EBI, LP
Principal Investigator
Determination of Dosimetry and Mechanism of PEMF
$2,200,000
1998-2007
This study determines dose effects of electrical exposure as one form of physico-chemical signaling in cartilage and bone formation. It studies the effect of electrical exposure on engineered chondrogenesis.

RI STAC RIRA2007-22
Principal Investigator
Virtual Immersive Environments and Motion Analysis for Advanced Rehabilitation
$200, 000
2007
Infrastructure support for establishment of gait laboratory.

Brown University Vice Presidential Research Seed Grant
Coinvestigator
Microsphere Based Drug Delivery Systems and Hydrogels for the Creation
of Cartilage Biocomposites – A Tissue Engineered Solution to Joint Damage
$93,920
2003
This grant facilitated collaborations between investigators and the Departments of Orthopedics and Bioengineering for the purpose of developing one stage cartilage biocomposite for purposes of transplantation. It utilized polymer-encapsulated growth factors to recapitulate developmental sequences.

NIH R13-AR 050033
Chair
Workshop Support Grant
$18,000
2003
Grant supported the AAOS annual workshop on "Physical Regulation of Skeletal Repair".

NASA
Chair
Workshop Support Grant
$15,000
2003
Grant supported the AAOS annual workshop on "Physical Regulation of Skeletal Repair".

Whitaker Foundation
Chair
Conference Support Grant
$5,000
2003
Grant supported the AAOS annual workshop on "Physical Regulation of Skeletal Repair".

AAOS Corporate Relations Advisory Group
Chair
Workshop Sponsorship
$55,000
2003
Grant supported the AAOS annual workshop on "Physical Regulation of Skeletal Repair".

Orthologic
Coinvestigator
Effects of Chrysalin on Chondrogenic Differentiation of Synovial Cells
$55,939
2003
This grant funded studies on a novel thrombin peptide for its ability to induce chondrogenic differentiation of synovial cells.

Aircast Foundation-S700
Coinvestigator
Stimulation of Chondrogenic Differentiation by Polymer-Encapsulated Growth Factors
$100,000
2000-2003
The goal of this grant is to develop methods for the temporal and spatial release of growth factors to mimic developmental sequence and to stimulate differentiation of precursor cells to chondrocytes.

NIH R01 ES 074042
Principal Investigator
EMF and Early Bone Development
$1,126,077
1995-1999
These studies investigated the role of electric and magnetic field exposure as a signaling mechanism stimulating cartilage repair.

Whitaker Foundation
Collaborating Investigator
Modulation of Cell Cycle Growth, Control and Differentiation in a Connective Tissue System by Magnetic and Electric Fields
$180,000
1995-1998
These studies explored electric and magnetic field effects on chondrocyte differentiation.

Fetzer Institute 852
Principal Investigator
The Stimulation of Chondrogenesis by Electromagnetic Fields
$140,000
1994-1996
These studies explored electric and magnetic field effects on chondrocyte differentiation.

NIH R15 AR 40382
Coinvestigator
Hyperbaric O2 on Experimental Endochondral Ossification
$107,036
1990-1993
Oxygen gradients above the physiologic level were investigated for their effects on cell differentiation in endochondral bone formation.

Selected Publications

  • Dyke, J.P., R.K. Aaron. Non-invasive methods of measuring bone blood perfusion. Ann. NY Acad. Sci.1192:95-102; 2010. (2010)
  • Gerin-Lajoie, M., D. McK. Ciombor, W. Warren, R.K. Aaron. Using ambulatory virtual environments for the assessment of functional gait impairment: A proof-of-concept study. Gait and Posture. 31: 533-536; 2010. (2010)
  • Puckett, S., P.P. Lee, D. McK. Ciombor, R.K. Aaron, T. Webster. Nanotextured titanium surfaces for enhancing skin growth on transcutaneous osseointegrated devices. Acta Biomaterialia. 6: 2352-62; 2010. (2010)
  • Bilgen B, Y. Ren, M. Pei, R.K. Aaron, D. McK. Ciombor. CD14-Negative isolation enhances chondrogenesis in synovial fibroblasts. Tissue Eng. 15: 3261-3270; 2009. (2009)
  • Lee, J.H., J. Dyke, D. Ballon, D. McK. Ciombor, M. Rosenwasser, R.K. Aaron. Subchondral fluid dynamics in a model of osteoarthritis: Use of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 17: 1350-1355; 2009. (2009)
  • Lee, J.H., J. Dyke, D. Ballon, D. McK. Ciombor, G. Tung, R.K. Aaron. Assessment of bone perfusion with contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Ortho Clin N Am. 40: 249-257; 2009. (2009)
  • Covey, D. C. Born, R.K. Aaron, D. McK. Ciombor, et. al. Regenerative and restorative techniques to treat severe limb trauma orthopaedic war injuries: New developments in treatments and research. AAOS Instructional Course Lectures. 58: 117-129; 2009. (2009)
  • Jaklenec A, A. Hinckfuss, B. Bilgen, D. McK. Ciombor, R.K. Aaron, E. Mathiowitz. Sequential release of bioactive IGF-I and TGF-beta(1) from PLGA microsphere-based scaffolds. Biomaterials.10:1518-25; 2008. (2008)
  • Covey, D. R.K. Aaron, C. Born, J. Calhoun, T. Einhorn, H. Frisch, L. Levin, M. Mazurek, E. Schwartz, J. Wenke, E. Powell. Orthopaedic war injuries from combat casualty care to definitive treatment: a current review of the basic science, clinical advances and research opportunities. AAOS Instructional Course Lectures. 57: 65; 2008. (2008)
  • Aaron, R.K., J. Dyke, D. McK. Ciombor, D. Ballon, J. Lee, E. Jung, G. Tung Perfusion abnormalities in subchondral bone association with marrow edema, osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 117: 124-137; 2007. (2007)
  • Aaron, R.K. and D. McK. Ciombor. Orthopaedic complications of solid organ transplantation. Surg. Clin. North America. 86: 1237-1255; 2006. (2006)
  • Aaron, R.K. and R. Gray. Osteonecrosis: Etiology, Natural History, Pathophysiology and Diagnosis. In: The Adult Hip, 2nd edition. Eds: J. Callaghan, A. Rosenberg, and H. Rubash. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. v.1 pg 463-476; 2006. (2006)
  • Aaron, R.K., H. Herr, D. McK. Ciombor, L. Hochberg, J. Donoghue, C. Briant, J. Morgan, M. Ehrlich. Horizons in prosthetic development for restoration of limb function. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 14: S198-204: 2006 (2006)
  • Paek, H.J., A.B. Campaner, J.L. Kem, L. Golden, R.K. Aaron, D. McK. Ciombor, J. Morgan, M. Lysaght. Microencapsulated cells genetically modified to overexpress human transforming growth factor-beta1: viability and functionality in allogeneic and xenogeneic implant models. Tissue Engin. 12(7): 1733-9; 2006 (2006)
  • Aaron, R.K., D. McK. Ciombor, S. Wang. Clinical biophysics: The promotion of skeletal repair by physical forces. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1068: 513-531; 2006 (2006)
  • Aaron, R.K., A. Skolnick, S. Reinert, D. McK. Ciombor. Arthroscopic debridement for osteoarthritis of the knee. J. Bone Joint Surg. 88A: 936-943; 2006 (2006)
  • Ciombor, D. McK., A Jaklenec, A. Liu, C. Thanos, N. Rahman, P.Weston, R. Aaron, E. Mathiowitz. Encapsulation of BSA using a W/O/O emulsion solvent removal method. J. Microencap. 23 (2): 183-194; 2006 (2006)
  • Paek, H.J., A.B. Campaner, J.L. Kim, R.K. Aaron, D. Ciombor, J. Morgan, M. Lysaght. In-vitro characterization of TGFβ1 release from genetically modified fibroblasts in calcium alginate microcapsules. ASAIO. 51: 379-384, 2005. (2005)
  • Aaron, R.K. and M. Bolander (eds.). Physical Regulation of Skeletal Repair. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Chicago, IL. 2005. (2005)
  • Ciombor, D. McK., R.K. Aaron, S. Wang, and B. Simon. Modification of osteoarthritis in the guinea pig – A morphological study. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 11: 455-462; 2003. (2003)
  • Lieberman, J., D. Berry, M. Mont, R.K. Aaron, et al. Osteonecrosis of the hip: Management in the 21st century. J. Bone Joint Surg. 84: 834-853; 2002. (2002)
  • Aaron, R.K., S. Wang, and D. McK. Ciombor. Upregulation of basal TGF beta levels coincident with chondrogenesis. Implications for skeletal repair and tissue engineering. J. Orthop. Res. 20: 233-240; 2002. (2002)