InMotion’s Initial Success Signals the Wisdom of its Formation

A mistake often made by organizations as well as communities is to try to be all things to all people. As Memphis expands its infrastructure and casts its line for businesses in the biosciences arena, it is important to initially stay close to its historical science cores.


A few years ago, a study by the Battelle Group detailed Memphis’ leadership in the musculoskeletal and orthopedic industries. And, while we have excellent foundations in areas of clinical research, eye care, biologistics and bio-agriculture, our strongest overall position in biosciences is in the medical device field.

InMotion is an excellent example of a success that fits directly into a core competency. This independent not-for-profit laboratory focuses on reducing disability and improving mobility for the musculoskeletal patient through translational research. InMotion will do this through collaborative research and development programs, bridging the gap between research and clinical treatment, supporting work to commercialize musculoskeletal products, and through education.

“The number of patients affected by orthopedic diseases such as osteoarthritis or spinal disc degeneration will continue to increase in the future,” said Dr. Peter Heeckt, Chief Medical Officer, Smith & Nephew, Inc, and InMotion board member. “Memphis already is home to internationally renowned hospitals and globally active medical device manufacturers. InMotion could serve as a great catalyst to bring existing and new players together and turn Memphis into a world center for the research and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases.”

Since its creation last year, InMotion has made great strides. It is pursuing a unique joint appointment with the UTHSC—Campbell Clinic and a relationship is being formed with the University of Memphis Department of Biomedical Engineering. Both will allow great crossover between academia and outside treatment and research. InMotion also is finding funding success at multiple levels, including $3.6 million from local foundations.

As the leading edge of the “baby boom” generation reaches its 60s, America’s largest concentration of people will hit its highest risk age for orthopaedic disease and injury. Memphis has a one time opportunity to stake its claim as the research, treatment and device center for this bioscience category. Organizations like InMotion will be critical in seizing that opportunity.

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