Orthopedics and Physical Medicine

Richard J Friedman, M.D., FRCSC


We have various basic science and clinical research projects both ongoing and ready to start. There is ample opportunity for a student to work on 1-3 projects during this time, with some able to be completed in the 3 month block and others that will be ongoing. Our research focuses on the shoulder and knee, and you would work closely with both Drs Eichinger and Dr Friedman. The opportunity also exist to get some clinical exposure to orthopaedics, not just in a research capacity. The program is structured, and will give you a strong introduction to basic science and clinical research. We have had a summer student for the past 5 years and in every case the experience has been extremely productive, with numerous publications and meeting presentations of the work performed. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Christopher E. Gross, M.D. and Daniel J. Scott, M.D., MBA


The foot and ankle team, led by Drs. Gross and Scott, has a wide variety of clinical research projects in the data collection or writing phases that are in need of medical students. Our past FLEX students have averaged two projects during their time with us, although the writing phase typically extends beyond the three-month block. Additionally, FLEX students will have the opportunity to add surgical exposure to their CV, whether reteach-related or not. If you have any questions, please contact the team's research assistant, Caroline, at hoch@musc.edu.

Robert F. Murphy, M.D.


The Pediatric Spine Study Group is an international multi-center registry that collects data on patients with early onset scoliosis. MUSC is a participating registry site. Medical student researchers are welcome to join this collaborative team. Research activities include patient data collection and registry entry, as well as site query data acquisition. To enhance and supplement the learning process, we welcome medical student shadowing in the clinic and operating room to learn about these patients and procedures. The opportunity to independently generate research questions and develop projects is welcome. We look forward to having an excited and motivated student join our team!
For more information, please check our websites: Children's Spine Foundation and Growing Spine Foundation.

Jessica E. Thaxton, Ph.D., MsCR


Dr. Thaxton's research group studies translational approaches to improve T cell metabolism in tumors for applications in cancer immunotherapy. The team is comprised of surgical and medical oncologists and basic science researchers. Her group's recent works have focused on the ER stress sensor PERK's regulation of mitochondrial exhaustion in CD8 TILs, as well as defining mechanisms of metabolic regulation of protein translation in T cells to improve immunotherapy. The long term goal of the laboratory is to provide new clinical trial options for cancer patients at the Hollings Cancer Center. Dr. Thaxton received her PhD in Pathobiology from Brown University and is an Assistant Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.
For more information, please visit our Lab Website.

Sara Van Nortwick, M.D.


In Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, our primary clinical research includes outcomes after scoliosis surgery, fracture and sports injuries, hip dysplasia and preservation, limb deformity,methods for decreasing intra-radiation exposure, use cell saver technology in the operating room, and maternity leave in surgical fields.