On the 17th of January 2023, the ARC ITTC for Joint Biomechanics welcomed Harvard trained orthopaedic surgeon and shoulder sub-specialist A/Prof Ruth Delaney to QUT’s stunning Garden’s Point Campus to present a seminar alongside our Queensland Unit for Advanced Shoulder Research (QUASR) affiliate Dr Mohammad Jomaa and  centre Postdoctoral fellow Dr Laith Alzubaidi.

A/Prof Delaney attended medical school in her hometown of Cork, Ireland and then moved to Boston for residency training at Harvard, where she did her shoulder fellowship with JP Warner. During her fellowship, she spent time in France working with Laurent Lafosse and Gilles Walch. She won the Neer Award in 2014 and continues to be academically active, publishing and speaking internationally. She currently practices in Dublin, Ireland and is an Associate Professor at University College Dublin.

Her practice focuses exclusively on the shoulder. She founded the Irish Shoulder Fellowship program & the Dublin Shoulder Institute. She is a SECEC committee member, has served as an Associate Editor for JSES Seminars in Arthroplasty and currently serves as Deputy Editor Shoulder & Elbow Research for JAAOS. She was co-president of the SECEC 2022 congress in Dublin in September 2022. She is a keen sportswoman, having represented her province, Munster, in four different sports and played tennis at international level. This has led to her offering consultation services to many high level players and events during her career.

A/Prof Delaney and centre clinical lead Adj. Prof Ashish Gupta was welcomed by Centre Director A/Prof YT Gu, Centre Deputy Director Prof Peter Pivonka, and Centre Administration Officer Ms Rosa Armitage at the Science and Engineering Centre above which the ITTC for Joint Biomechanics sit as the central node.

Greeted by the centre Cube display, A/Prof Delaney and the team obtained their required coffees and began a centre tour. Commencing at P Block, centre students and post-docs had the opportunity to share their work on deep learning, loss functions for 3D finite element models of shoulder and bones, reconstructions of shoulder and load parameters, to assessments of bone loss, range of motion and bone quality as developed by the team.

Viewing the 3D Printing and load testing labs in O Block, QUT Campus

A/Prof Delaney was then taken to the School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering to meet Head of School Prof YT Gu in his office and to take a tour of the lab facilities by PhD student Mr Xiaolong Fan. Xiaolong showed us the 3D printing labs where bony models are reconstructed based on models as well as the equipment used to load and test forces on samples and specimens.

PhD student Mr Morgan Windsor and A/Prof Saulo Martelli then took the group to S block where our robotics team sit where Morgan showed the group the robots and programs used to develop a system for automatic registration and tracking of the scapular in real time and to autonomously develop a glenoid guidewire based on the scapula tracking system. 

A/Prof Delaney presenting her seminar ‘Bony Reconstruction Options in Shoulder Instability.’

A/Prof Delaney’s seminar in the heritage listed H Block of QUT highlighted her many career highlights focusing on her work on the shoulder mainly for collusion-based injuries of rugby players back at the Dublin Shoulder Institute and Sports Surgery Clinic. It was an insightful presentation for the team to see her career journey and persistence to succeed in a male dominated field and to discuss the evidence behind different surgical approaches for different cases based on bone loss and quality.

Dr Jomaa presenting his work on assessing the reparability of rotator cuff tears – is healing the same as reparability? 

Dr Jomaa then provided his interesting findings regarding the reparability of rotator cuff tears, followed by Dr Alzubaidi’s highlight of his research into using ‘AI for assessing reparability of the Rotator Cuff for large to massive Cuff tears’  as part of the grant he won with A/Prof Delaney, Adj. Prof Ashish Gupta, and Dr Freek Hollmann at the SECEC-ESSEE congress in 2022.

The QUASR and ITTC-JB team at Tippler’s Tap, Southbank

The event was followed by a networking opportunity for the team over drinks at Southbank, where the team gained further insight into her career trajectory and advice for their own careers and research projects. The level of clinical input into the student’s projects and widening impact of the research work the centre as we build an international network of similarly passionately minded individuals was echoed by A/Prof Delaney, who we were proud to show our growth to over the last few years as a research centre.

Thank-you A/Prof Delaney for your engaging talk and for making it all the way to Brisbane from Dublin, Ireland. We wish you all the best for your consultations during the 2023 Australian Open tennis season.