Campbell receives $1.1 Million for osteopathic research 

A philanthropic gift was recently made to Campbell University to support Dr. Tom Motyka’s research on musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain. 

Dr. Motyka is an associate professor and Chair of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and will administer several projects on musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction including osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) as well as prolotherapy.

The anonymous gift was also designated for the creation of an Osteopathic Research Fellowship for medical students and provided funding and support for other projects related to musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain research.  The research fellowship will serve as a gap year program and is intended to further training and experience in research specific to osteopathic medicine. 

The first fellow, Cailee Dean, started July 5th and will continue for the entirety of the 21-22 academic year.  Dr. Motyka expressed his thanks for Student Doctor Dean’s willingness to embark on this project as the inaugural fellow. 

“As a rising 3rd year student, she completed Sim Month and passed her boards, then she totally changed her life in a matter of a few weeks.  She was set to start rotations, but once we were able to offer her the fellowship, she quickly moved back and changed her plans.”  

Research Fellow Cailee Dean and Dr. Tom Motyka adjust motion capture cameras for calibration

The Inaugural fellow will participate in several research projects funded by the gift, teach in the OMM labs for first and second year medical students, and shadow 
Doctor Motyka in clinic to receive more OMT training and practice.

While Motyka is the head of the fellowship, other members of the Campbell Medicine faculty – currently, Drs. GishFoster, Petrovic and Hinkelman – are also serving as principle investigators for bench research and the basic science research specific to osteopathic principles and treatments. 

“All of the projects relate to musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain; we’re planning projects to examine the mechanisms of prolotherapy and dextrose injections in an animal model along with a variety of other projects including motion capture in human subjects.” 

“Some work has previously been done in humans, but nobody understands the mechanism by which this works, so we’re seeking to understand the mechanism,” Motyka shared. 

Drs. Petrovic and Motyka are looking at the metabolomic characteristics of responders to bicarb supplementations.  In regard to physical function, they are studying the effects of acid residue and diets on physical function and disability. 

In rodent models, Dr. Adam Foster is looking at the basic mechanisms of osteoarthritis entry and treatments.  Specifically, the mechanism and effects of intra-articular dextrose injections.  Also, from the biomechanics perspective – does prolotherapy treatment improve load distribution in affected limbs?  

The researchers are also using the gift for a collaborative project with Penn State looking at it in a mouse model. 

Dr. Amy Hinkleman, is doing inflammatory marker cellular work with fibroblasts.

Additionally, there are two clinical trials on pain pending approval related to pain interventions that the team hopes to announce soon. 

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