Research Centers


Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Research Division

The Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Research Division is an inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary team dedicated to understanding the human biological and clinical processes associated with traumatic orthopedic injuries.

The Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Service Research Unit is an inter-institutional effort between four core institutions: Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital. It is our mission to improve the clinical, functional and quality of life outcomes of patients with traumatic musculoskeletal injuries through novel and innovative clinical research. The Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Service has a history of successful research collaborations with investigators from many Medical and Surgical specialties including Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Endocrinology, Physical therapy, Biomechanics, and Psychometrics.


Program Director:

  • Suzanne Morrison, MPH

Research Coordinator:

  • Jordan Morgan
  • Robert Lucas

Areas of study for the Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Research Division includes:

  • efficacy of certain orthopaedic implants
  • cellular response to injury
  • immune response after trauma
  • use of gene therapy for fracture healing
  • use of patient reported outcome measures to assess injury recovery

Paterns Orthopaedic Trauma Service

Summer Internship

The Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Service is a busy pan-campus orthopedic trauma service with sites at three Harvard-affiliated Level I Trauma Centers: Massachusetts General Hospital; Brigham & Women’s Hospital; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. We are actively recruiting undergraduates to work with our clinical research team. The main aim of the internship is to provide interns with a basic understanding about clinical research, primarily through providing practical experience. The secondary aim is to provide opportunities for interns to shadow in the clinical environment in order to see what life is like in the hospital setting.

Our clinical research work primarily involves the study of patients who experience orthopaedic injuries and the treatments that help these patients heal from their injuries. As part of this work you will conduct literature searches, interact with research subjects, and collect and/or analyze data. You may provide specific research-related expertise to us depending on your background and interests, or be asked to write up a case report based on a specific finding in the clinical setting. At some point during the Summer it is possible that you may become involved with projects not specifically related to clinical research that are of pertinent interest to our clinical team at the time – i.e. quality assurance projects. You will work with all members of our team - including senior and junior orthopaedic faculty, residents, nurses, and research personnel – along with our colleagues from disciplines outside of Orthopaedic Surgery.

A key part of the internship is the experiences our interns have in the hospital environment that show them what it is like to work in a hospital and what it can be like to take care of patients. With this in mind, you will be welcome and encouraged to observe our team in all of the clinical areas in which we work: the operating room; the emergency room; the outpatient clinic; and the inpatient units. You are welcome to attend any conferences or educational forums that are open to resident, attending, and hospital staff. We will also strongly encourage you to talk with us about any clinical disciplines outside of Orthopaedics that are of interest to you so that we may connect you with faculty and staff who work in these areas.

We are looking for candidates who are curious, flexible, and have the ability to think on their feet. We look for candidates with strong interpersonal skills who like to be part of a team. Candidates should be literate in Microsoft Word, Excel, and have a basic understanding of Microsoft Access. Past experience with clinical research is helpful but not required. We encourage you to apply if you intend to pursue a career in Healthcare, or if you are considering a career in Healthcare.

The dates of the internship are June 2 – August 29, 2014. We ask you to make a commitment of at least 8 weeks and that you work a minimum of 20 hours per each week of work. This is truly an “it is what you make of it” kind of internship, so you are encouraged to take full advantage of the opportunities we provide.

The internship is unpaid. We give our interns a voucher to pay for any meals and snacks purchased while working in the hospital.

If you are interested in applying for our internship, please complete the attached application form and send this form, a current version of your resume, and two letters of recommendation to Suzanne Morrison, Program Director, Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Service; Ms. Morrison’s office telephone number is 617-525-8876.

The deadline for application is March 1, 2014.

March 4, 2014: Thank you for applying to our program. You are an impressive group! We are now in the process of reviewing your applications. We plan to conduct two rounds of interviews (either in person, on the phone, or by Skype) to select our Summer 2014 internship class, and will contact you within the next 7-14 days to schedule the first round of interviews. We will contact all applicants with our decisions throughout the selection process. You are welcome to call or e-mail us with your questions.

Massachusetts General Hospital - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Brigham & Women's Hospital - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center - Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Aches & Joints - Patient Education

Fourth Annual Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Research Day

On June 20th, 2014 from 3 pm – 7 pm at Massachusetts General Hospital (in the Ether Dome), the Harvard Orthopedic Trauma (HOT) Service will host the Fourth Annual Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Research Day.

Select Publications from 2012:

  1. Clayton JL, Harris MB, Weintraub SL, Marr AB, Timmer J, Stuke LE, et al. Risk factors for cervical spine injury. Injury. 2012 Apr;43(4):431-5.
  2. Glatt V, Miller M, Ivkovic A, Liu F, Parry N, Griffin D, Vrahas M, Evans C. Improved healing of large segmental defects in the rat femur by reverse dynamization in the presence of bone morphogenetic protein-2. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2012 Nov 21;94(22):2063,2073; ( ) : . doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.01604.
  3. Helmerhorst GT, Lindenhovius AL, Vrahas M, Ring D, Kloen P. Satisfaction with pain relief after operative treatment of an ankle fracture. Injury. 2012 Nov;43(11):1958,1961; ( ) : . doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.08.018. Epub 2012 Aug 16.
  4. Maliha G, Morgan J, Vrahas M. Transient osteoporosis of pregnancy. Injury. 2012 Aug;43(8):1237,1241; ( ) : . doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.03.009. Epub 2012 Mar 30.
  5. Miller MA, Liu W, Zurakowski D, Smith RM, Harris MB, Vrahas MS. Factors predicting failure of patella fixation. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012 Apr;72(4):1051,1055; ( ) : . doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182405296.
  6. Okike K, Lee OC, Makanji H, Harris MB, Vrahas MS. Factors associated with the decision for operative versus non-operative treatment of displaced proximal humerus fractures in the elderly. Injury. 2013 Apr;44(4):448,455; ( ) : . doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Sep 27.
  7. Smith RM, Dyer GS, Antonangeli K, Arredondo N, Bedlion H, Dalal A, et al. Disaster triage after the haitian earthquake. Injury. 2012 Nov;43(11):1811-5.
  8. Thomas SH, Arthur AO, Howard Z, Shear ML, Kadzielski JL, Vrahas MS. Helicopter emergency medical services crew administration of antibiotics for open fractures. Air Med J. 2013 Mar-Apr;32(2):74,79; ( ) : . doi: 10.1016/j.amj.2012.06.007.
  9. van Kollenburg JA, Vrahas MS, Smith RM, Guitton TG, Ring D. Diagnosis of union of distal tibia fractures: Accuracy and interobserver reliability. Injury. 2012 Nov 28. pii: S0020-1383(12)00483-4:. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.10.034.
  10. Weaver MJ, Bruinsma W, Toney E, Dafford E, Vrahas MS. What are the patterns of injury and displacement seen in lateral compression pelvic fractures? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2012 Aug;470(8):2104,2110; ( ) : . doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2364-x.
  11. Weaver MJ, Harris MB, Strom AC, Smith RM, Lhowe D, Zurakowski D, et al. Fracture pattern and fixation type related to loss of reduction in bicondylar tibial plateau fractures. Injury. 2012 Jun;43(6):864,869; ( ) : . doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2011.10.035. Epub 2011 Dec 9.