The NBA and GE Healthcare Issue a Call for Proposals to Address Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Bone Stress Injuries and Announce Latest Round of Research Awards

  • Call for third round of research proposals focused on bone stress
    injuries (BSI).
  • Up to $1.5 million available in a third call for research proposals
    focused on bone stress injuries (BSI).
  • Four research proposals selected from investigators across the
    globe to address acute myotendinous injuries.

CHICAGO & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the National Basketball Association (NBA) & GE Healthcare (NYSE:
GE) Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Collaboration issued a new call for
proposals (CFP) focused on bone stress injuries (BSI), a frequent and
debilitating injury for both the elite and the everyday athlete. The
collaboration simultaneously announced the latest round of winning
research proposals that address myotendinous injuries, specifically
targeting strains, tears, ruptures, or pulls of the hamstring and calf.

The NBA & GE Healthcare Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Collaboration
was established to fund research that addresses the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries* affecting NBA
players and everyday athletes. Through the funded research, the
collaboration aims to increase understanding of the mechanisms of injury
to reduce the impact of future injuries by investigating prevention and
rehabilitation programs and developing new and improved tools for
diagnosis and treatment. The collaboration is directed by a Strategic
Advisory Board, led by Dr. John DiFiori, the NBA’s Director of Sports
Medicine, and an NBA & GE Healthcare Steering Committee.

The latest call for research proposals is aimed at advancing the
understanding of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of bone
stress injuries (BSI) in elite and everyday athletes. BSI can impair
performance, limit playing time, disrupt an athletic career, and cause
ongoing risk of re-injury.

“GE Healthcare is excited to collaborate with the NBA and invest in
this research,”
said John Sabol, Chief Scientist for Global Research
at GE Healthcare. “Together, we hope to encourage the scientific and
clinical research communities worldwide to bring their skills and ideas
to advance, as well as challenge, established paradigms in an effort to
better understand and improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and
recovery of bone stress injuries.

Specific areas of research interest for this
CFP include:

  • Advancements in imaging to improve prevention, diagnosis, and/or
    treatment of BSI
    – including imaging techniques to improve the
    understanding of bone health and risk factors for BSI and re-injury.
  • Prevention and management of BSI – including quantifiable
    exposure factors, metabolic factors, bone quality thresholds and
    biomechanical risk factors, and epidemiological determinants.

Additionally, as part of their collaboration, the NBA and GE Healthcare
today announced the awardees of four research proposals selected from
investigators across the globe to address acute myotendinous injuries.

“Myotendinous injuries are a common issue among basketball players at
all levels of the game – from NBA players to the athlete joining a local
pick-up game,”
said Dr. DiFiori. “While there are prevention
programs prescribed for varying levels of play, we are working to
increase our understanding of the best techniques for clinical
assessment and choices of imaging modalities to improve health outcomes
and limit the impact on athletic performance for athletes at all levels.”

Using a competitive application process with a rigorous scientific
review, leading academic and healthcare institutions were selected from
the following locations:

University of Newcastle, Australia (Dr. Suzi Edwards) The HAMI Study:
Investigating Hamstring and Adductor Myotendinous Injury Risk Factors in

Dr. Edwards and her team will study top male
Australian basketball players to determine the role of biomechanical
(how a person moves) and neural (how the brain signals muscles) factors
in muscle injuries. This novel multidisciplinary research may lead to
improved injury prevention and rehabilitation programs for athletes by
increasing our understanding of how an athlete runs, how muscle
structure changes, and how an injury alters brain signals to muscles.

Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam (Dr. Johannes Tol) Game changing
innovative sports research: The Basketball and Muscle Injury (BAMI)

The BAMI study targets preventing hamstring and calf
muscle injuries and re-injuries. In the first of three separate studies,
researchers in Amsterdam will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to
examine what actually goes on within injured muscles to help in
preventing re-injury. The second and third studies will use strength
testing and MRI to determine which exercises are the best for preventing
hamstring and calf muscle injuries.

University of Wisconsin-Madison (Dr. Bryan Heiderscheit) Clinical,
Biomechanical, and Novel Imaging Biomarkers of Hamstring Strain Injury
Potential in Elite Athletes.

Investigators from The University
of Wisconsin will conduct a prospective longitudinal study of high-level
athletes to improve risk assessment for hamstring strain injuries.
Athletes will be monitored for exposure and injury throughout training
and competition with injured athletes monitored with diffusion tensor
magnetic resonance and shear wave ultrasound imaging during and after
their rehabilitation period. Findings from this study may improve injury
risk assessment and establish objective criteria to assess the risk of
re-injury upon returning to play.

The Mayo Clinic (Dr. Timothy Hewett) Comparative Effectiveness of
Hamstring Muscle Strain Injury Prevention Programs.

Dr. Hewett
and his team at the Mayo clinic will investigate the effectiveness of
hamstring muscle strain injury prevention programs in 1000 high school
basketball athletes. They plan to study how these programs impact
flexibility, muscle stiffness, strength and power. They will use an
advanced ultrasound imaging technique (shear wave elastography) to
measure muscle stiffness and determine if it can be used to predict
future hamstring injuries.

Beginning today, research proposals are being accepted here.
This CFP will award a total of up to $1.5 million over a three-year
period to support research addressing important unanswered questions
regarding BSI prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The maximum amount
for an individual submission is $300,000 including direct and indirect
costs for the entire research period. Smaller, focused, and impactful
projects requiring less support are strongly encouraged.

The deadline to submit BSI research proposals is April 17, 2017. For
more information about these calls for proposals and/or the application
process, please visit the website at

*Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or disorders of the
muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and disorders of the
nerves, tendons, muscles and supporting structures of the upper and
lower limbs, neck, and lower back that are caused, precipitated or
exacerbated by sudden exertion or prolonged exposure to physical factors
such as repetition, force, vibration, or awkward posture. Source:

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and
services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and
more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on
things that matter – great people and technologies taking on tough
challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and
diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing
technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps
medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. For
more information visit our website

About the NBA

The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three
professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the
Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League.
The league has established a major international presence with games and
programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA
merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6
continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2016-17 season featured a
record 113 international players from 41 countries and territories. NBA
Digital’s assets include NBA TV,
and the NBA App, which achieved record viewership and traffic during the
2015-16 season. The NBA has created one of the largest social media
communities in the world, with more than 1.3 billion likes and followers
globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA
Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with
internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support
education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.


Jennifer Fox
GE Healthcare