Mark Lorenz, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon and has worked at Hinsdale (Ill.) Orthopaedics since 1992. Dr. Lorenz is Chair of NASS’ Research Project Management Committee, and several of his peer reviewed research studies have garnered national and international awards. He has been a NASS member since 1988.

  1. 1. What is your mission this coming year? 

The Research Project Management Committee oversees the research grant and fellowship application processes and makes funding recommendations to the Research Council and Board.

2. What are your committee’s highlights over the last couple years?

Over the last several years, the committee has streamlined and improved the review process. This allowed for a more efficient review of the significantly increasing numbers of excellent grant proposals. The committee takes pride in selecting and recommending outstanding research proposals for funding.

The committee has also changed the meeting process of its members to teleconferences. This should facilitate selection of meeting times for its members, since travel is no longer required. We expect this change to have a significant cost benefit as well.

3. What are the committee’s long-term goals?

One of the important long-term goals for this committee is to encourage quality improvement of the grants by instituting a rigorous application process.

Although the quality of submitted grant proposals has steadily improved over the last several years, the committee will continue to adapt the application process to foster continued increases in scientific quality of the proposals.

4. What challenges are facing your committee?

There has been a significant increase in grant-worthy proposals over the last several years … increasing the available money allotted by NASS each year in order to fund more of the proposals is a challenge in the current environment.

5. How long have you been a NASS member? 

I joined in 1988.

6. When did you first volunteer? What Committee was it? 

2006. Research Project Management Committee as a Member.

7. What would you tell other people about serving on NASS committees?

It is rewarding to be involved in activities that enhance the scientific knowledge of spinal problems.