For Immediate Release: November 30, 2017


Karen Warmkessel:

Mohit Gilotra

BALTIMORE – A research team led by Mohit N. Gilotra, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), will receive the prestigious 2018 Charles S. Neer Award from the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) for a clinical study that demonstrated an effective method to potentially reduce the risk of serious infection following shoulder surgery.

The ASES is a society made up of leading national and international orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in surgery of the shoulder and elbow. The Charles S. Neer Award is among the most prestigious prizes for orthopaedic research and is awarded each year for clinical and basic research. This is the first time the prize will be presented to researchers from the Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia area.

Dr. Gilotra, the principal investigator and senior author, and his colleagues are being honored for their paper, "Benzoyl Peroxide Effectively Decreases Pre-Operative Propionibacterium acnes Shoulder Burden: A Randomized Clinical Trial," which was presented in October at the ASES annual meeting. Co-authors include R. Frank Henn III, MD, associate professor of orthopaedics at UMSOM, and S. Ashfaq Hasan, MD, associate professor of orthopaedics and chief of the elbow and shoulder program in the Department of Orthopaedics at UMSOM.

Propionibacterium acnes (P acnes), a gram-positive bacteria, is a commonly reported cause of delayed infection in shoulder surgery. Traditional skin preparations are ineffective in preventing these infections because they don’t penetrate deep enough into the skin to reach the source of the P acnes and have minimal to no effect on the bacteria.

In this randomized clinical trial with 80 patients, the researchers found that using benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is more effective at reducing P acnes bacteria on the shoulder than chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG), which may reduce the risk of intraoperative wound contamination and delayed postoperative infection. "BPO should be considered as a preoperative skin prep for high-risk patients given its potential benefit and low cost," the researchers concluded, noting that multicenter studies are needed to further establish the relationship between BPO and surgical site infections.

The award will be presented to the University of Maryland research team at the ASES Open Meeting/Specialty Day on March 10, 2018, in New Orleans.

The team also included Julio Jaregui, MD, Andrew Dubina, MD, and UMSOM medical students, Logan Kolakowski, BS, and Grant Duvall, BS.

Jim Lai, MD, is a former member of the research team and is now a rehab resident at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.

"Post-operative infection is a serious problem for patients, and our researchers presented clear evidence that using benzoyl peroxide before surgery significantly reduced the level of P acnes that can pose a risk of infection. This represents a promising alternative to traditional skin preparations," says Andrew N. Pollak, MD, the James Lawrence Kernan Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics. "I applaud Dr. Gilotra and his colleagues for this well-deserved honor."

"This research breaks new ground in evaluating how we can control potentially devastating infections following shoulder surgery and illustrates one of the many ways that our faculty members are advancing science for the benefit of patients," says E. Albert Reece, MD., PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of UMSOM. "We are very pleased that University of Maryland School of Medicine scientists have been chosen to receive this international recognition."

The award is named for Charles S. Neer II, MD, a longtime orthopaedic surgeon at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City who was well-known for his contributions in shoulder surgery and reconstruction. He founded and became the first president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons in 1982. In 1985, Dr. Neer created a fund to recognize outstanding clinical investigation that contributes to the understanding, care and prevention of injuries to the shoulder and elbow. The award has been presented annually since the first Open Meeting. In 1987, the award was expanded to recognize both clinical and research categories.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with more than half of its academic departments ranked in the top 20 among all public medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System ("University of Maryland Medicine") has a total budget of $5 billion and an economic impact of nearly $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit