Ara Nazarian, DrSc
Instructor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
330 Brookline Avenue, RN115, Boston, MA 02215
My goal is to develop as an expert scientist in the fields of orthopaedic biomechanics and bioimaging to provide insight into the diagnosis and fracture risk prediction of systemic and local bone pathologies, biomechanics of upper extremities, and other translational research activities to enhance quality of life and improve patient care.
My work mainly focuses on basic biomechanics and bioimaging of normal and pathologic bone, with emphasis on fracture prediction resultant from local and systemic skeletal pathologies. I have been working on the CT-based Structural Rigidity Analysis (CTRA) methodology for the past eight years along with Dr. Brian Snyder. My work on this project includes conducting a study of cancer patients to establish thresholds for prediction; generating a normative database for axial and appendicular bones; and conducting a multi-center study to compare the efficacy of this method to current clinical guidelines. From an imaging perspective and as part of my K99/R00 award, I am working on a combined liquid and solid state MR imaging method to differentiate different skeletal pathologies based on changes in bone mineral, matrix and structural components (two papers so far). I am also working on establishing a shoulder biomechanics entity at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with my colleagues Drs. Ramappa and DeAngelis, where we have designed and implemented a new shoulder testing paradigm. I have recently received an R21 award to assess the efficacy of hydrogel foams in wound stasis in trauma scenarios with colleagues Drs. Rodriguez and Grinstaff. My research efforts have been recognized by the Fullbright Program, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the International Society of Bone Morphometry among others.
My educational activities range from teaching undergraduate, graduate and medical students, as well as post-doctoral fellows, to instructing the BE/ME/MS524 course in Skeletal Tissue Mechanics at Boston University. Thus far, I have mentored 32 undergraduate students, 16 graduate and medical students (six of whom have been HMS students), and five post-doctoral fellows at the Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies. In recognition of my efforts, I was awarded the HMS/HSDM Excellence in Young Mentoring Award in 2010. Additionally, I participate in educating my peers through invited lectures at a number of conferences in the United States and elsewhere.
My other activities include service as ad hoc reviewer for 12 journals in the field and participation in the HMS Latin American Initiative, the HMS Explorations program and the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair as a judge.