Thomas P Schaer

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Director, Translational Orthopaedic Research & Preclinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine New Bolton Center
Member, University of Pennsylvania IACUC Board
Member, University of Pennsylvania IACUC Veterinary Advisory Committee
Senior Research Investigator - Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine
Dept of Clinical Studies
New Bolton Center
382 West Street Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Office: 610-925-6237
Fax: 610-925-6820
SAMD, Davos/Switzerland, 1986.
VMD (Veterinary Medicine)
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 1996.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Thomas Schaer is the Director of the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory in the Department of Clinical Studies at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Schaer trained in both human and veterinary medicine, and completed an internship, residency and lectureship in large animal/equine surgery. His primary interests are in clinical orthopedic trauma, joints, spine, and CMF with a particular interest in the application of novel materials for functional restoration of the musculoskeletal system. His academic background combined with his surgical training has allowed Dr. Schaer to pursue translational research with direct application to patient care. He has been involved in the successful translation of many technologies that are currently used in clinical practice. Some of the recent efforts are in the field of injectable technologies for hardware augmentation in long bone trauma, anti-infective device coatings and new strategies for joint resurfacing. Pathophysiology around device-centered biofilm formation recently triggered interest in the various tissue microbiomes and their shifts. This has led to the exploration of causation for pathogen initiated / exacerbated degeneration of musculoskeletal tissues (i.e. arthritides) through large animal models. Dr. Schaer’s efforts in refining animal models for translational orthopedic research have been developed through numerous funding sources, including both private industry and federal funding agencies. He is experienced in developing pivotal trials through discussions with cross-functional groups in the orthopedic biotech arena and his lab has functioned as a (GLP) Testing Facility, designing, executing and managing studies to match the requirements of multidisciplinary core teams. He has interfaced with regulatory colleagues in the submission of GLP (21CFR58 & 21CFR11)/pivotal studies to the USFDA. Since the inception and implementation of his research program in 2005, Dr. Schaer has trained numerous fellows, residents, veterinary students and pre-vet students in translational orthopedic research and has raised over US$10 million in research funding through the biotech industry and foundations. He is a consulting surgeon with various industry-led ventures in orthopedic trauma, spine and sports medicine.

Description of Itmat Expertise

Dr. Schaer leads the translational orthopedic research at the School of Veterinary Medicine at New Bolton Center. He has a significant amount of experience with developing animal models through discussions with cross-functional groups in orthopaedic trauma, joints, spine, biomaterials and anti-infective technologies. Dr. Schaer has worked as a study director/project manager for a number of years, designing and writing preclinical protocols to match the requirements of multidisciplinary core teams. He has interfaced with regulatory colleagues in the submission of GLP/Pivotal studies to the FDA and coordinated the preclinical requirements of these submissions in GLP/Pivotal studies. His interest is to provide an incubator environment across traditional academic boundaries for undergraduate and graduate education in translational and regulatory science, while advancing treatment and prevention of muscular, neuromuscular and skeletal injury and disease for both man and animal.

Selected Publications

Stewart Suzanne, Barr Stephanie, Engiles Julie, Hickok Noreen J, Shapiro Irving M, Richardson Dean W, Parvizi Javad, Schaer Thomas P: Vancomycin-modified implant surface inhibits biofilm formation and supports bone-healing in an infected osteotomy model in sheep: a proof-of-concept study. The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume 94(15): 1406-15, Aug 2012.

Showalter Brent L, Beckstein Jesse C, Martin John T, Beattie Elizabeth E, Espinoza Orías Alejandro A, Schaer Thomas P, Vresilovic Edward J, Elliott Dawn M: Comparison of animal discs used in disc research to human lumbar disc: torsion mechanics and collagen content. Spine 37(15): E900-7, Jul 2012.

Schaer Thomas P, Stewart Suzanne, Hsu Bryan B, Klibanov Alexander M: Hydrophobic polycationic coatings that inhibit biofilms and support bone healing during infection. Biomaterials 33(5): 1245-54, Feb 2012.

Gasiorowski Janik C, Richardson Dean W, Boston Raymond C, Schaer Thomas P: Influence of a resilient, hard-carbon thin film on drilling efficiency and thermogenesis. Veterinary surgery : VS 40(7): 875-80, Oct 2011.

Jasmin Bambi H, Boston Ray C, Modesto Rolf B, Schaer Thomas P: Perioperative ruminal pH changes in domestic sheep (Ovis aries) housed in a biomedical research setting. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS 50(1): 27-32, Jan 2011.

Ahern Benjamin J, Schaer Thomas P, Terkhorn Shawn P, Jackson Karen V, Mason Nicola J, Hankenson Kurt D: Evaluation of equine peripheral blood apheresis product, bone marrow, and adipose tissue as sources of mesenchymal stem cells and their differentation potential. American journal of veterinary research 72(1): 127-33, Jan 2011.

Risbud Makarand V, Schaer Thomas P, Shapiro Irving M: Toward an understanding of the role of notochordal cells in the adult intervertebral disc: from discord to accord. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists 239(8): 2141-8, Aug 2010.

Ahern Benjamin J, Richardson Dean W, Boston Raymond C, Schaer Thomas P: Orthopedic infections in equine long bone fractures and arthrodeses treated by internal fixation: 192 cases (1990-2006). Veterinary surgery : VS 39(5): 588-93, Jul 2010.

Ahern Benjamin J, Harten Robert D, Gruskin Elliott A, Schaer Thomas P: Evaluation of a fiber reinforced drillable bone cement for screw augmentation in a sheep model--mechanical testing. Clinical and translational science 3(3): 112-5, Jun 2010.

Ahern Benjamin J, Soma Lawrance R, Boston Raymond C, Schaer Thomas P: Comparison of the analgesic properties of transdermally administered fentanyl and intramuscularly administered buprenorphine during and following experimental orthopedic surgery in sheep. American journal of veterinary research 70(3): 418-22, Mar 2009.

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Last updated: 02/09/2015
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