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OARSI Weekly Briefing - June 11, 2021

Welcome to the OARSI Weekly Briefing - the single resource you need to stay up to date with OARSI & World Congress news, membership announcements, and happenings within the OARSI & OA community.

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June 11, 2021 Briefing-at-a-Glance
Board of Directors Nominations | Member Spotlight: Alan Grodzinsky | Hey OA! Podcast | Join a Discussion Group | OARSI Live Call for Presenters | The OA Summit Debate Series | OARSI Connect '21 Recordings | Important Dates | Weekly Briefing Archive


Board of Directors Call for Nominations

OARSI is now accepting applications for the Board of Directors for a 4-year term beginning in May 2022. The Board requires members whose backgrounds, skills, and experience match the OARSI mission and its current and future needs. Service on the OARSI board demands a considerable commitment of time and talent to advance the goals and objectives of the organization.

The Nominating Committee will review all applications and make a recommendation to the Board. The nominating committee seeks to maintain gender, geographical, and specialty balance. All OARSI members, except those employed by industry, or who own a for-profit company related to the OA field, are eligible to serve on the Board of Directors. 

If you are interested in applying for a board position, please complete the short application form. Once we receive it, you will be sent a user name and password in order to complete an online disclosure. The deadline for receipt is August 31, 2021.

To learn more about the process and submit an application, please click HERE.


Member Spotlight: Alan Grodzinsky

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will spotlight the 2021 OARSI Award Winners. First up is this year’s Lifetime Achievement winner, Alan Grodzinsky. Once again, congratulations Alan on a very deserving award!

How long have you been a member of OARSI and why did you join?
I attended the 3rd World Congress of ‘OARS’ in Singapore in 1997 (shortly before ‘OARS’ evolved into ‘OARSI’), which was an absolutely terrific meeting. Since the research in our lab has always focused on osteoarthritis as our primary interest and application, it was clear that OARSI would be an invaluable society to join to help us learn from experts and newfound colleagues from all over the world.  

What do you enjoy most about OARSI?
People! The research that we’re all interested in is best performed in groups, and we all have the most fun when we can meet new people at conferences such as OARSI meetings. The best outcome is the origination of new collaborations that can lead to discoveries completely unanticipated prior to an accidental collision at an OARSI poster session!

Tell us a little bit about your research? 
Our lab’s work has centered around OA/PTOA; drug discovery and drug delivery for OA; cartilage biomechanics, mechanobiology and transport; cartilage tissue regeneration; and AFM-based tissue and molecular nanomechanics. Our most recent focus has been the development of in vitro models of traumatic joint injuries that lead to degradation of cartilage, bone, and other joint tissues, models that are useful for studies of drug discovery and drug delivery. Our group has developed human osteochondral as well as human knee osteochondral-synovium co-culture systems, also incorporating injurious impact load. The latter model emulating traumatic knee injury was recently launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX-21 for a multi-week experiment. On the ISS, our microphysiological system is used to model the complex interactions between bone, cartilage, and synovium that may lead to the progression of PTOA subject to the microgravity and radiation of space. Treatment conditions include both anti-inflammatory and pro-anabolic therapeutics.

What does winning the Lifetime Achievement Award mean to you? 
It is an absolute thrill to receive the award! This is really a testament to the incredible contributions of our dedicated research staff and the over 50 PhD students and 25 postdocs who have worked and trained in our lab over the past many years. The award is also recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations and close friendships with leading international experts that have been initiated and facilitated over the years by OARSI.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Music, music, music. I was principal violist of the MIT Symphony Orchestra for 9 years (throughout undergrad and grad school), and then played viola in freelance string quartets in the Boston area while starting my current faculty position. And with a little extra free time, I played banjo and mandolin in folk music groups in and around town. But of course, the relentless time sink of academia slowly but surely became unbreakable, and the time needed to keep in practice is a huge challenge. So music had to evolve into a listening activity, attending concerts when possible (most recently, remotely, and by YouTube).


Hey OA! Podcast - Call for Volunteers

OARSI's Hey OA! Podcast covers topics ranging from groundbreaking new research to clinical care and policy, knowledge translation, career paths, and more. During each episode, OARSI Young Investigator, Kerry Costello, interviews a new guest to discuss OA-related topics. To check out the latest podcast click HERE. You can also listen to the podcast using your favorite podcast app. 

Hey OA! is currently expanding. We have a number of exciting episodes planned for the upcoming months and we are looking for at least two volunteers to help with the following ongoing aspects of producing the podcast:

  1. Episode planning/preparation: identifying and contacting potential guests, preparing interview questions, scheduling interviews
  2. Episode editing: episodes typically involve minimal editing beyond adding intro/outro, theme music, and removing the occasional sneeze/cough. Editing can be done using free, open-source software. Opportunities to contribute to episode format exist for those with more experience.

Both positions involve a regular commitment (approximately 1 episode per month). Prior experience in these roles is not necessary (training will be provided) but is a plus. All are encouraged to apply, including young investigators.

 To apply for these positions, please fill out this online form.

For any questions, email Kerry Costello.

Have ideas for an episode but don’t have time to volunteer? Submit your topic idea or guest nomination anytime using this form.


Join a Discussion Group

OARSI's Discussion Groups bring together individuals with a focus on specific OA-related specialty areas. To make the Discussion Groups easier to join we have updated our database. Now OARSI members can log in to their profile and select the Discussion Group(s) that they would like to join. By updating your profile with your Discussion Group preferences, we will be able to send targeted emails to each Discussion Group and maintain an official roster for each group. To update your profile, follow these steps.

  • Log in to
  • Click on the menu button in the top left of the screen
  • Select ‘My Profile’
  • Select ‘Edit'
  • Select the ‘My Account’ tab
  • Scroll to Discussion Groups and select your group(s)


OARSI Live Call for Presenters

The OARSI Live webinar series is currently on hiatus and will resume this fall. We are looking to schedule our fall program and are seeking webinar presenters. If you would like to present on an OARSI Live webinar, please contact Vincenzo Nelli with a brief summary of your proposed presentation.


The OA Summit Debate Series

Osteoarthritis pain remains a large unmet clinical need. One common tool in the clinician’s armamentarium has been a steroid injection. They are widely used but recent evidence has questioned their efficacy for pain relief and potentially associated ongoing structural changes, including accelerating the underlying structural progression.

This controversy warrants debate and we are pleased to have two leading experts (Profs Margreet Kloppenburg and Ali Guermazi) providing different perspectives on the merits and downfalls of this widespread intervention.

Please join us for the first in a series of controversial topics for a facilitated online debate. Register Now

In partnership with 


OARSI Connect '21 Recordings

Did you know that all of the recorded sessions from OARSI Connect ‘21 are available to registered attendees through April 2022!? If you missed a session because you attended another session or it occurred at a time that was inconvenient for you, you can view it by logging into the virtual meeting website. Just navigate to the Agenda page and select the session(s) you want to view.

If you missed OARSI Connect ‘21, you can still register and have access to the recordings. It simple, just register HERE.


Important Dates & Upcoming Deadlines

  • 2021 Membership Dues: Be sure to renew your OARSI dues. Renew Now.
  • August 31, 2021 - Call for Board of Director Nominations Deadline
  • April 6 - 10, 2022 - OARSI World Congress in Berlin, Germany


Past OARSI Weekly Briefings


Featured Resources

OARSI White Paper- OA as a Serious Disease

By Various

Patient Summary- Non Surgical Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis

By Multiple Authors