GE Healthcare and the National Basketball Association seek proposals to accelerate research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tendinopathy

GE Healthcare and the NBA launch their first call for proposals to address tendon conditions affecting NBA players 

WAUKESHA, WI, and NEW YORK, NY - November 17, 2015 – GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today launched a call for research proposals for tendinopathy. The call for proposals is the first as part of a collaboration between the NBA and GE Healthcare to help research the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries* affecting NBA players and the general population alike. This call for proposals seeks to address the natural history of tendinopathy in competitive athletes, the anatomic and dynamic factors that can lead to a negative impact on training or game play and the interventions that can be effective for prevention and treatment. Future calls for proposals may address bone stress injuries, articular cartilage injury, and other important musculoskeletal issues affecting NBA players. 


Tendinopathy is a common issue in competitive athletes affecting, in particular among basketball players, the patellar tendon. This condition can impair performance, limit playing time, and potentially disrupt an athletic career. 


“GE Healthcare is investing in research and development to fast-track advancement in musculoskeletal health,” said Kelly Piacsek, General Manager, MR Global Hardware at GE Healthcare. “Through our research collaboration and call for proposals focused on tendinopathy, we hope to encourage scientists, researchers, doctors and innovators worldwide to bring their talents to this effort, accelerate the current understanding of tendinopathy injuries and improve how clinicians leverage state of the art diagnostic tools to advance the understanding, treatment and prevention of these injuries.”


The collaboration and call for proposals is directed by a Strategic Advisory Board led by Dr. John DiFiori, the NBA Director of Sports Medicine, a steering committee, and a panel of scientific peer reviewers for the submitted proposals.


“NBA players are among the best athletes in the world, and their well-being is the league's highest priority. Our first research effort on tendinopathy is an important part of the NBA’s investment in research to promote player health, explained Dave Weiss, ‎Associate Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at the National Basketball Association. “We hope that this project and our future research projects with GE Healthcare will improve the long-term health and wellness of NBA players. We are excited to address these issues with NBA team physicians, the National Basketball Players Association, and leading researchers for the benefit of NBA players and our game.”


Specific focus areas of research interest for this call for proposals include:


·         Natural history of tendinopathy, including: History and clinical covariates (e.g., VISA-A, training limitations); MRI-relaxation time, ultrashort echo time (UTE) (loaded/unloaded), muscle size; Ultrasound imaging (e.g., muscle size, tendon pathology, UTC); Functional assessment tools; Younger populations (e.g., NCAA, high school); Prevalence of the condition as players enter the NCAA and NBA

·         Magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound imaging features and clinical correlates in tendinopathy

·         Treatment of patellar tendinopathy, including: Physical therapy; Percutaneous needle tenotomy (PNT); Platelet rich plasma (PRP); Transdermal nitroglycerin (NTG); Stem cells

·         Prevention Programs, including: Strength and conditioning; Periodicity/rest intervals; Modifying specific training and/or game activities to reduce cumulative loading; Ice immersion/cryotherapy


Beginning today, research proposal entries are now being accepted here. This call for proposals will award a total of up to $1,500,000 over a three-year period to support research addressing important unanswered questions regarding tendinopathy prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The maximum amount for an individual grant is $300,000 including direct and indirect costs for the entire period of the research.  Smaller, focused, impactful projects requiring less support are also encouraged.


The deadline to submit research proposals is February 10, 2016. For more information about this call for proposals and/or the application process, please visit the website at


About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.  For more information visit our website


About the NBA

The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League.  The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents.  NBA rosters at the start of the 2015-16 season featured 100 international players from 37 countries and territories.  NBA Digital’s assets include and NBA Mobile, which achieved record traffic during the 2014-15 season, as well as NBA TV.  The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than 915 million likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.  Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.


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*Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, an disorders of the nerves, tendons, muscles and supporting structures of the upper and lower limbs, neck, and lower back that are caused, precipitated or exacerbated by sudden exertion or prolonged exposure to physical factors such as repetition, force, vibration, or awkward posture. 



Media Contacts:

Victoria Ifan

GE Healthcare



Joanna Shapiro