Spine research


Allina Health is committed to staying on the cutting edge of spine research that betters the lives of patients everywhere.

Our spine research is conducted in partnership with Twin Cities Spine Center surgeons and includes retrospective and prospective clinical studies and quality improvement projects.

Twin Cities Spine Center has been conducting pivotal research, advancing spine care and training surgeons from all around the world for over 70 years. Twin Cities Spine Center's Research Department is an outgrowth of the pioneering work of John H. Moe, MD. Dr. Moe is regarded as the founder of modern scoliosis research and treatment. His work led to the creation of the Scoliosis Research Society and the publication of the first comprehensive textbook on spinal deformities. Our physicians and research staff carry on the legacy of Dr. Moe.

As of now, Twin Cities Spine has collaborated on well over 500 research studies. This research focuses on both operative and non-operative treatments and diagnostic methodology, along with the natural history of spine problems as they pertain to clinical, radiological and surgical outcomes.

Patients and study participants

Our research studies explore the natural history of spine problems and substantiate operative and non-operative treatments, particularly as they relate to patient outcomes. Being a participant in a research study is a unique opportunity to play an active role in health care and lend a helping hand to others by contributing to medical research.

Our clinic’s dedicated research staff carefully screens any patient who is interested in a study. Participation in a research study is strictly voluntary and patients must give their permission to participate. Patients may revoke this consent at any time during a study. Before a study begins, volunteers must meet specific criteria. These criteria include factors such as age, gender and health status. These are to ensure that researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study and to keep participants safe.

Providers and study sponsors

Our surgeon-investigators

Our research team

John E. Lonstein, MD
Medical Director of Fellows Research

John M. Dawson, PhD
Clinical Research Director

Current clinical trials