American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Annual AOA Research Conference

research-conference.JPGThe Annual AOA Research Conference is held each year in conjunction with the AOA Annual Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition (OMED). DOs, professors and osteopathic medical students present their research findings and network with other researchers who share mutual interests during didactic sessions, a full poster exhibition, and a student poster competition.


 Research Conference Track


AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research

Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi said “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought."

The Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research (BOCER) is excited to present sessions on the latest research that impacts the osteopathic community and osteopathic medicine. In lieu of having a stand-alone Research Conference, BOCER has partnered with The Bureau of Scientific Affairs and Pubic Health (BSAPH), the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO), The American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine (AOAPR), and the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (AAOSM). In addition, BOCER is excited to once again, have its annual Poster Session and Student Poster Competition and Reception. The reception will include recognition of AOA newest research grant recipients. We hope that you enjoy what has been prepared to enhance your passion for osteopathic medicine and join us in all activities.

Saturday, Sept. 17

Joint Session with the Bureau of Scientific Affairs and Public Health (BSAPH)

Public Health Didactic Sessions: 8-10 a.m.

Location: TBD

  • Update on the Epidemiology of Childhood Obesity in the U.S.

Presenter: TBD

  • National Interventions Addressing Childhood Obesity

Presenter: Chef Ann Cooper, Chef Ann Foundation (invited) 

Presenter: CDC Representative (to be invited) 

  • Clinical Best Practices

Presenter: TBD

Workshop: Steps to Beginning Your Community Oriented Primary Care Research Project: 10 a.m. - noon

  • Components of Successful Projects

Presenter: Erin Cortes, DO, Founder, Mini-Doc Program

  • Beginning Your Project

Presenter: Joy Lewis, DO, PhD, FACP, Professor, Medicine and Public Health, ATSU

Presentation Summary:

This CME program is organized jointly by the Bureau of Scientific Affairs and Public Health (BSAPH) and the American Osteopathic College of Occupational and Preventive Medicine (AOCOPM).

The first half of this two-part public health session focuses on childhood obesity, a highly prevalent chronic condition in the United States. Presenters will discuss hot topics including best prevention, diagnoses, and treatment practices, impact on patients, and research aimed at preventing obesity in children.

The second portion is a hands-on workshop that will encourage and equip providers to begin community-based research projects in their own environments.

Joint Session with the American Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine: Time TBD

Regenerative Injection Therapies for Pain: Traditional, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Biocellular (Stem Cell) Prolotherapy

Presenter: Donna D. Alderman, DO

Presentation Summary: 

Traditional medical models often do not offer clear-cut treatment options or outcomes for many types of musculoskeletal pain or sports injuries. Prolotherapy is a method of regenerative injection treatment that stimulates musculoskeletal repair and healing, reducing or eliminating pain, with low medical risk and high success rate. The three types of Prolotherapy include traditional (dextrose), platelet rich plasma (PRP) and biocellular (stem cell).


  1. Analyze the current medical literature.
  2. Discuss how each of these types of Prolotherapy fits into the continuum of musculoskeletal healing. 

Sunday, Sept. 18

AOA Poster Session and Student Poster Competition: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

(This event will take place in the Exhibit Hall) 

The American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Poster Session and Competition provides an opportunity for researchers, both new and mature, to disseminate their research to a broader audience.

The Poster Session includes a student poster competition. This poster competition is held in collaboration with the National Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA). Students must enter the competition at the time of their abstract submission. 

Research Directors Meeting: 2-3 p.m.

Location: TBD 

Student Poster Competition Awards, New AOA Research Grant Recipients, and Networking Reception: 6-7 p.m.

Location:  TBD 

This reception not only acknowledges the first and second prize winners of the student poster competitions and the newest research grant recipients; it also provides an opportunity for networking with other researchers. 

Monday, Sept. 19

Joint Session with the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine: 7:30 - 10 a.m.

Location: TBD

Updates on Concussion Evaluation and Management

Presenter: Priscilla Tu, DO, FAOASM

Presentation Summary: 

This lecture will review the latest consensus statement and research regarding the evaluation and management of sports concussions.


  1. Briefly review concussion definition.

  2. Review most recent consensus statement on concussion evaluation an management.

  3. Discuss latest research in evaluation and management of concussions.

Joint Session with the American Academy of Osteopathy: 1:30 - 4:45 p.m.

The Role of Motor Control in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention

Presenter: Richard Schuster, DO, and Shawn Kerger, DO, FAOASM

Location: TBD

Presentation Summary:

The evaluation of motor control has evolved significantly beyond what Drs. Phillip Greenman and Vladamir Janda proposed nearly twenty years ago, as it relates to injury prevention and rehabilitation. Recent work by Comerford and Mottram, Zazulak, Cholewicki and Akuthota, along with developments by Janda's students, will all be reviewed and explored. Special emphasis will be placed upon the practical interpretation of this research as it relates clinically to the evaluation of motor control applied to both injury rehabilitation and prevention. The initial didactic will be a review of recent research, while the laboratory will focus on the clinical evaluation of motor control, how it is influenced by somatic dysfunction, and abnormal motor programming might perpetual somatic dysfunction. We will be using the upper and lower cross syndromes as templates for the evaluation for, and treatment of, abnormal motor control.


  1. Discuss the role of motor control as it relates to musculoskeletal injury, rehabilitation and injury prevention.
  2. Practice and demonstrate the evaluation of most motor control patterns for the upper and lower extremity cross syndromes.
  3. Demonstrate and practice the most common treatments of the upper and lower cross syndromes and including OMT, focused stretching and muscle strengthening.


BOCER’s purpose is to oversee all AOA research and quality improvement activities. Research activities consist of managing the clinical and biomedical research grants and fellowship programs, assisting with the annual research presentation programs and poster competition, serving as the advisory body to the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) on nominations for the annual research awards, making research policy recommendations, and acting as an advocate for research for the profession.