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The Atlanta Research & Education Foundation is designed to facilitate collaborations between the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta and other institutions. We welcome your interest in our facility, personnel, and research capabilities.

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Investigator: Joseph Roberts
Phone: (404) 321-6111 ext. 201824
Email: joseph.roberts@emory.edu
Primary Research Interest: Orthopedic Surgery
Description of Research: My research focuses on identifying nutrition-based approaches to improve patient outcomes following traumatic bone injuries, including accelerating the rate of healing as well as minimizing pain associated with bone fractures. Currently, we are investigating the influence of dietary supplements containing beneficial bacteria called probiotics on the rate of fracture healing and other systemic consequences stemming from fracture in the context of age-related impairments in bone repair. Our primary focus is deciphering whether the resident bacteria that reside within the intestine can be therapeutically targeted using nutrition-based approaches to improve patient outcomes after bone fractures.
Relevance to VA: Over 6.2 million fractures occur annually in the US, with a large proportion of those affected being Veterans. Recent studies have estimated that Veterans are 3.5 times more likely to report an activity-limiting fracture than non-veterans and Veteran women have higher 10-year probabilities for any major fracture than non-Veterans. These fractures place considerable financial, physical, and mental burdens on individuals and typically require intense surgical intervention and lengthy rehabilitation. Therefore, there is a significant need to identify safe, yet clinically applicable approaches to manage pain and accelerate bone healing in the increasingly aging Veteran population.

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