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Awards, Honors, and Grants


January 06, 2021

Lu, von Keudell Win 2020 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards

Yi Lu, MD, PhD Arvind von Keudell, MD


Yi Lu, MD, PhD, director of Neurological Trauma in the Department of Neurosurgery, and Arvind von Keudell, MD, director of Orthopaedic Geriatric Trauma Surgery and Research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, were among this year’s winners of The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation’s 2020 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards.

Each honoree receives $100,000 to support a groundbreaking project that addresses well-defined clinical problems in areas related to trauma care, including: bone, wound, and skin healing; limb transplant and reconstruction; bone and muscle regeneration; advanced stem cell technology; orthopaedic and plastic surgery; bioengineering; and emergency preparedness and injury prevention.

Lu’s project, “Developing Treatments for Progressive Visual Impairment Following Traumatic Brain Injury,” seeks to prevent the degeneration of optic nerves and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) and visual function decline in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The researchers identified protein markers called caveolins that protect RGCs from injury and hope to use their Stepping Strong Center funding to develop treatments for mTBI patients who have progressive vision impairment.

Von Keudell’s project, “Optimizing Orthopaedic Trauma Surgical Procedures with Personalized Implants and Augmented Reality,” tests a software system designed to improve reconstruction of periarticular fractures (fractures in or around the body’s joints). The software uses patient information to generate case-specific advanced planning strategies, 3D-printed anatomical models to improve reconstruction plans, and augmented reality features to assist surgeons.

Also honored with a 2020 Stepping Strong Innovator Award was Jeffrey Schneider, MD, medical director of Burn, Trauma, and Orthopedic Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. His project, pursued in collaboration with Amar Dhand, MD, PhD, of the Brigham’s Department of Neurology, studies the long-term needs of burn survivors by analyzing levels of depression, anxiety, pain and social activity following hospital discharge. 

The mission of The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is to catalyze multidisciplinary collaborations that inspire groundbreaking innovation, effective prevention, and compassionate intervention to transform care for civilians and military heroes who endure traumatic injuries and events.