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RAYNHAM, MA, June 9, 2008 - The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) awarded this year's ISSLS Prize for Lumbar Spine Research to three groups of researchers for their studies on disability from back injuries, tissue engineering of annulus fibrosis, and the structural relationships within the lumbar intervertebral disc annulus, it was announced today by DePuy Spine, the sponsor of the award, which was presented during SpineWeek 2008.

The ISSLS Prize is awarded based on scientific merit as determined by a blue-ribbon panel in three study categories: clinical, biomechanics and basic science. Prize recipients are invited to present their studies during an academic session at SpineWeek and have their work published in an issue of the journal Spine. The Company sponsors the award to encourage research of the lumbar spine.

The following are the winners of the 2008 ISSLS Prize for Lumbar Spine Research:

CLINICAL: "Early Predictors of Chronic Work Disability: A Prospective, Population-based Study of Workers with Back Injuries"
Judy A. Turner, Gary Franklin, Deborah Fulton-Kehoe, L Sheppard, B. Stover, Rae Wu, J. V. Gluck and Tom M. Wickizer - University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
BIOMECHANICS: "Integrating Theoretical and Experimental Methods for Functional Tissue Engineering of the Annulus Fibrosis"
Nandan Nerurkar, Robert Mauck, Ph.D and Dawn Elliott, Ph.D - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
BASIC SCIENCE: "A Microstructural Investigation of Interlamellar Connectivity and Mechanical Disruption Within the Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Annulus"
M. L. Schollum, Sam P. Veres, P. A. Robertson and Neil D. Broom -University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; Auckland Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
"DePuy Spine is a proud supporter of ISSLS and is pleased to recognize and support excellence in spine research," said Gary Fischetti, Worldwide President, DePuy Spine, Inc.


The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to bring together those individuals throughout the world, who, by their contributions and activities both in the area of research and clinical study, have, or are indicating interest in the lumbar spine in health and in disease. It also serves as a forum for the exchange of information of both an investigative and clinical nature which relates to low back pain and disability.

About DePuy Spine

DePuy Spine, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, has worked and partnered with leading clinicians, researchers, and thought leaders to develop products to treat spine disorders for over 20 years. The company is committed to advancing the knowledge of all health care professionals and their patients in addressing spinal pathologies.