Members of our laboratory are also actively involved in clinical research regarding contractures and other aspects of neonatal brachial plexus injuries (NBPI). With a multidisciplinary Brachial Plexus Center – among the largest of its kind in the United States – we are uniquely poised to maintain clinical relevance of and accelerate translation of our basic research findings.

As an example of this important work, the sarcomere elongation we identified as central to contracture phenotype in our mouse model has now been identified in humans with NBPI-related contractures using a novel needle microendoscope to nondestructively image and measure sarcomere lengths in vivo. This research is funded by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. We are also leading and participating in several multicenter clinical studies.

Dr. Cornwall also founded Plexus Nexus, an international working group of surgeons, therapists, scientists, engineers, and other experts in brachial plexus injuries. The goal of this group is to identify the top priorities for improvement in care of brachial plexus injuries and to assemble collaborative teams to address them.