Organization -Infrastructure and Research Groups

The Osteoarthritis Research Group was established in 2006 and developed into a multidisciplinary research team consisting of rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons, radiologists, statisticians, physical therapists, nurses and administrative staff, and included scientists within basic and clinical research as well as epidemiology. We have joined resources at the Oslo University Hospital and the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in close collaboration with regional scientists and clinicians within the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, as well as a large international network and active collaborators (See National and International Collaborators below). The Osteoarthritis Research Group is chaired by Professor May Arna Risberg with Professor Lars Engebretsen, Professor Lars Nordsletten and Professor Tore K Kvien as co-chairs. Our cumulative international publications (PubMed) from the last 5 years exceed 353. Importantly, we have proven capacity to mentor and support many young scientists and 35. This new infrastructure that we have developed since 2006 has enabled us to conduct translational research by following our large cohorts of OA patients. Currently, we use a multidisciplinary team one day a week with examination of OA patients included in our OA cohorts. The examinations include self-reported questionnaires, clinical examination (including joint examination, functional tests and cardiovascular examination) and imaging (MRI, conventional radiographs, US).

Our two institutions offer complimentary competence within rheumatology, orthopedic surgery, radiology, physical therapy, and statistics and epidemiology and also regarding research utilities as imaging modalities (x-ray, MRI, US), cartilage basic science laboratory, Biobank facilities, cardiovascular examinations and radiostereometric- and bone remodeling analysis. Three statisticians connected to the group. We believe that Osteoarthritis Research Group will be an expanding niche in the repertoire of medical therapies and represent a boost to these OA treatment modalities in Norway.

Department of Orthopaedics, Oslo University Hospital. In 2010 we had a total of 25 full-time research positions, and 2.5 full-time positions as research coordinators. For the year 2010, we had 280 publications, and published 55 articles in international scientific journals together with our collaborators. The following research groups are established within the Department of Orthopeadics, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål (see http://ous-research.no/orthopaedics/)

  1. The Oslo Cartilage Research Group (translational research): Chair Professor Lars Engebretsen and include the following basic scientists as Professor Brinchmann, Professor Reinholt, and Professor Lyngstadaas, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, as well as Professor Lars Nordsletten. The aim of the The Oslo Cartilage Group, Oslo University Hospital is to conduct translational research - from cartilage biology to the patient. Since articular cartilage shows a very limited capacity for healing, Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) represents an alternative cell source with the potential of generating hyaline cartilage. The group is at the moment concentrating on MSC from various sources as well as chondrocytes with the goal of developing a composite graft consisting of cartilage producing cells as well as a scaffold for use in any joint acessable by arthroscopic or minimal size surgery. The group has just finished inclusion of a RCT between chondrocyte and stem cell transplantations to the knee. In addition, the group is involved in multicenter studies (in Europe) on artificial plugs and scaffolds for cartilage injuries.
  2. The Norwegian Research Center for Active Rehabilitation (NAR) (see www.aktiv-rehab.no) was established in May 2003 as a multidisciplinary research group on active rehabilitation programs for patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. A research collaboration was established between the Department of Orthopaedics, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevaal, the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, and the Hjelp24 NIMI. Today NAR has external grants from South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, Norwegian Research Council, Helse & Rehabilitering, National Institutes of Health, and Southern Denmark University. The center chair is professor May Arna Risberg, PT. PhD. NAR has proven a high quality research program also due to the international collaboration with University of Delaware (professor Lynn Snyder-Mackler) with a 5 year grant from the National Institutes of Health, USA in 2006 (Grant # 2 RO1 HD 037985-06) (now applied for a renewal grant 2011), and with the University of Southern Denmark. Currently, NAR has 9 physical therapy PhD students, 5 have defended their PhD during the last 2 years.
  3. Oslo Sport Trauma Research Center (OSTRC) in collaboration with Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre: www.ostrc.no. The Research group is chaired by Professor Roald Bahr and Professor Lars Engebretsen and has its main site at the Department of Sport Medicine, Norwegian School Sport Sciences
  4. Centre for radiostereometric- and bone remodeling analysis Oslo University Hospital (CIRRO) was established in 2004 as a centre for radiostereometric analysis (RSA), and with funding from the South-Eastern Health Autority. The Research group is chaired by senior researcher and orthopaedic surgeon Steffan Rohrl and Professor Lars Nordsletten (see http://ous-research.no/orthopaedics/).

Dept of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital has responsibility for rheumatic joint diseases in Oslo and regional functions in Helse Sør-Øst. Patients with OA represent a major part of the referrals to the outpatient clinic. The department has two main research areas which each has a professor as the leader: 1) General medical research in rheumatology with a strong focus on imaging modalities (professor Tore K Kvien) and 2) Rehabilitation research in rheumatology with a focus on outcome research (The National Research centre for Rehabilitation in Rheumatology (NRRK) (Professor Kåre Birger Hagen). The Department has an increasing research activity with 12 PhD during 2008-2011 and an increasing number of PubMed listed publications in international journals (68 publications in 2010, 52 in 2009). The Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital is EULAR center of Excellence 2008-2012 which mean that the Department is one out of 21 leading rheumatological research groups in Europe. NRRK has active research collaboration with several European hospitals and research centres during the ETIC collaboration (www.star-etic.se), CARE(www.rheumacare.org) and European League Against Rheumatism(www.eular.org). See also http://www.nrrk.no