Dr. Joseph Rosen is a Professor of Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in the division of Plastic Surgery and an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. His interests span from biomedical engineering to biological warfare. For the past 15 years, Dr. Rosen has acted as a consultant for the defense department. He has chaired various panels to review how we respond to blast injuries in the battlefield and how we can improve all facets of the medical response and treatment. Presently, Dr. Rosen is part of a consortium evaluating how regenerative medicine and transplantation can be used to restore wounded warriors to functional independence. Additionally, Dr. Rosen has been involved in relief work internationally for the past 30 years-most recently in Vietnam where he and his team treat children with congenital and traumatic deformities.
Peripheral nerve injuries have undergone extensive research, yet in spite of these advances our capacity to effectively treat them remains limited. Our biological system and anatomical structure limit our ability to effectively regenerate a nerve across an injury site.Once a nerve has been severed it begins to undergo Wallerian degeneration, which initiates a cascade of cellular and molecular events distal to the site of injury. To date, the accepted solution to peripheral nerve injuries has been to bridge the gap with a conduit or nerve autograft. Currently, there are several initiatives across the country that aim to improve upon this system with innovative solutions. By addressing the complex nature of peripheral nerve injuries we can drastically improve the lives of civilians and that of our wounded warriors.