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Clinical Research Faculty

Samuel B. Adams, MD
Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Foot and Ankle Research

Dr. Adams’s clinical research focuses on outcomes of total ankle replacement and osteochondral lesions of the talus as well as improving patient care through novel orthopaedic devices and orthobiologics such as PRP, bone marrow aspirate, stem cells, and fat transplantation.

Annunziato (Ned) Amendola, MD
Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Chief, Division of Sports Medicine
Director, Urbaniak Sports Sciences institute

Dr. Amendola's clinical and research interests focus on improving the understanding, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports and activity-related problems of the knee and ankle.

Janet Prvu Bettger, ScD, FAHA
Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Health Policy and Implementation Science Research

Dr. Bettger is the Director of Health Policy and Implementation Science Research for the Department. Dr. Bettger’s research is dedicated to establishing real-world evidence aimed to improve health care quality and policies that reduce the burden of disease and disability. She is funded by NIH and the VA as an implementation scientist on studies to prevent functional decline. She is also funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)  and the Medical Research Council/Wellcome Trust for pragmatic clinical trials in the U.S. and China on transitional care to improve functional independence and prevent post-hospital adverse events. Dr. Bettger is the PI for a pragmatic clinical and cost-effectiveness trial on physical therapist-supported virtual rehabilitation following knee replacement. In 2016 with support from Duke's Bass Connections, Dr. Bettger launched the Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation (GANDHI) to facilitate student-faculty-external partner collaborative research to strengthen health systems globally). She further advances this work on post-hospital rehabilitative care and outcomes with research using large integrated datasets, funded by PCORI and the NIH. 

Chad E. Cook, Ph.D., PT, MBA, FAPTA
Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery (Division of Physical Therapy)
Director of Clinical Research Facilitation

Dr. Cook is a clinical researcher, physical therapist, and professional advocate with a long-term history of clinical care excellence and service.



Louis E. DeFrate, PhD
Frank H. Bassett III, MD Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine
Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering

The DeFrate laboratory applies engineering principles to study clinically-relevant problems involving the musculoskeletal system. In particular, they  evaluate in vivo biomechanics using advanced radiographic and MRI techniques, which enables them to investigate soft tissue structure, composition, and function in healthy and diseased states.

Steven Z. George, PT, PhD 
Director of Musculoskeletal Research
Duke Clinical Research Institute 
Vice Chair of Clinical Research | Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. George’s primary interest is research involving biopsychosocial models for the prevention and treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain disorders.


Adam Goode, PT, DPT, PhD
Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery (Division of Physical Therapy)
Vice Chair of Clinical Research and Epidemiology and as the Director of the Musculoskeletal Epidemiology Research Center

Dr. Goode’s clinical areas of interest are in the treatment of low back and cervical spine pain.


Michael S. Kerzner, DPM
Clinical Associate

Dr. Kerzner’s research interests are focused on basic science and clinical study of limb salvage, diabetic foot, Charcot arthropathy, neuromuscular disease, wound healing, and tissue regeneration.


Robert K. Lark, MD, MS
Assistant Professor in Orthopaedics and Pediatrics

Dr. Lark’s clinical research focuses on spinal disorders such as functional movement in scoliosis. He is also interested in growth and development of the musculoskeletal system.



Richard C. Mather III, MD
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Hip Specialist, Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Mather’s current work focuses on building tools for healthcare consumerism by facilitating measurement and communication of individual patient preferences in treatment decisions. Additionally, he has a great interest in health innovation, particularly in developing new care and payment models to foster different incentives and practice approaches.


James A. Nunley II, MD
Goldner-Jones Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Nunley’s research interest is in ankle arthritis and sports injuries of the foot and ankle.


Amy M. Pastva, PT, MA, PhD
Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Assistant Professor in Medicine
Assistant Research Professor in Cell Biology
Senior Fellow, Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development

Dr. Pastva’s current scholarly pursuits include rehabilitation strategies for improving the health and function of individuals living with chronic diseases and/or surviving critical illness.


Michael P. Reiman, PT, DPT, PhD OCS, SCS, ATC, FAAOMPT, CSCS
Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery (Division of Physical Therapy)

Dr. Reiman’s clinical focus is orthopaedics, sports medicine, and manual therapy.


Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD
Chief, Duke Spine Division

Dr. Shaffrey  is a world-renowned physician-scientist who has an active research interest in spinal surgery, particularly in multicenter research studies of pediatric and adult scoliosis, spinal cord injury, spinal trauma, and tumors involving the spinal column. 


Dean C. Taylor, MD, COL(ret.) USA
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Duke Sports Medicine Fellowship
Director, School of Medicine Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Curriculum
Chairman, Feagin Leadership Program

Dr. Taylor is interested in shoulder instability and labral tears, knee instability, and ligament tears, knee articular cartilage and meniscal injuries, ACL injuries in adults and children, muscle and tendon tears (hamstring, biceps, rotator cuff, Achilles tendon, etc.), and clavicle fractures.