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    Zorica Buser, PhD

    TitleAssistant Professor of Research Orthopaedic Surgery
    SchoolKeck School of Medicine of USC
    DepartmentOrthopaedic Surgery
    Address1450 Biggy Street, NRT-2509N
    Health Sciences Campus
    Los Angeles California 90033
    Phone+1 323 442 0206
    vCardDownload vCard

      Collapse Overview 
      Collapse Overview
      The Spine laboratory studies the biology and mechanisms of various spine pathologies using basic science models and clinical research. Our projects cover in vitro and in vivo research on vertebral fusion, bone formation, and intervertebral discs. Our clinical studies utilize a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the causation of degenerative spinal conditions and their current treatments, including outcomes and cost. We are also investigating new diagnostic and treatment approaches in tissue engineering, biomarkers and mechanobiology, and the potential of progenitor and stem cells to drive disc regeneration. On the cellular level we are interested in the changes within mitochondria, the cell’s power plants, during disc degeneration.


      Collapse Biography 
      Collapse Education and Training
      University of Belgrade , SerbiaBachelor of Science2002Molecular Biology & Physiology
      University of California, San Francisco , San Francisco, CAPostdoctoral Fellow2011Orthopaedics
      Institute of Orthopaedic Research & Biomechanics, University of Ulm, GermanyPostdoctoral Fellow2007Orthopaedic Research & Biomechanics
      Department of Human Genetics, University of Ulm, GermanyPh.D.2005Human Genetics

      Collapse Bibliographic 
      Collapse Publications
      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
      List All   |   Timeline
      1. Paholpak P, Tamai K, Shoell K, Sessumpun K, Buser Z, Wang JC. Can multi-positional magnetic resonance imaging be used to evaluate angular parameters in cervical spine? A comparison of multi-positional MRI to dynamic plain radiograph. Eur Spine J. 2017 Sep 25. PMID: 28948406.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Dedeogullari E, Paholpak P, Barkoh K, Lucas J, Lee L, Wang C, Hsieh PC, Wang JC, Buser Z. Effect of mental health on post-operative infection rates following cervical spine fusion procedures. J Orthop. 2017 Dec; 14(4):501-506. PMID: 28855766.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Paholpak P, Nazareth A, Barkoh K, Lee LV, Lucas J, Buser Z, Wang JC. Space Available for Cord, Motion, and disc degeneration at the adjacent segments level of degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis using kinematic MRI. J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Aug 07. PMID: 28797605.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Wang D, Yuan H, Liu A, Li C, Yang K, Zheng S, Wang L, Wang JC, Buser Z. Analysis of the relationship between the facet fluid sign and lumbar spine motion of degenerative spondylolytic segment using Kinematic MRI. Eur J Radiol. 2017 Sep; 94:6-12. PMID: 28941762.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Ajiboye RM, Zoller SD, D'Oro A, Burke ZD, Sheppard W, Wang C, Buser Z, Wang JC, Pourtaheri S. Utility of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring for Lumbar Pedicle Screw Placement Is Questionable: A Review of 9957 Cases. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jul 01; 42(13):1006-1010. PMID: 27851660.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Jakoi AM, Pannu G, D'Oro A, Buser Z, Pham MH, Patel NN, Hsieh PC, Liu JC, Acosta FL, Hah R, Wang JC. The Clinical Correlations between Diabetes, Cigarette Smoking and Obesity on Intervertebral Degenerative Disc Disease of the Lumbar Spine. Asian Spine J. 2017 Jun; 11(3):337-347. PMID: 28670401.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Grisdela P, Buser Z, D'Oro A, Paholpak P, Liu JC, Wang JC. Trends analysis of surgical procedures for cervical degenerative disc disease and myelopathy in patients with tobacco use disorder. Eur Spine J. 2017 May 09. PMID: 28488093.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Heindel P, Tuchman A, Hsieh PC, Pham MH, D'Oro A, Patel NN, Jakoi AM, Hah R, Liu JC, Buser Z, Wang JC. Reoperation Rates After Single-level Lumbar Discectomy. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Apr 15; 42(8):E496-E501. PMID: 27548580.
        View in: PubMed
      9. Myhre SL, Buser Z, Meisel HJ, Brodke DS, Yoon ST, Wang JC, Park JB, Youssef JA. Trends and Cost of Posterior Cervical Fusions With and Without Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 in the US Medicare Population. Global Spine J. 2017 Jun; 7(4):334-342. PMID: 28815161.
        View in: PubMed
      10. Sayari AJ, Tuchman A, Cohen JR, Hsieh PC, Buser Z, Wang JC. Risk and Cost of Reoperation After Single-Level Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy: A Large Database Study. Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(2):116-122. PMID: 28507880.
        View in: PubMed
      11. Hindoyan K, Tilan J, Buser Z, Cohen JR, Brodke DS, Youssef JA, Park JB, Yoon ST, Meisel HJ, Wang JC. A Retrospective Analysis of Complications Associated With Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 in Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(2):148-153. PMID: 28507884.
        View in: PubMed
      12. Ren Z, Liu A, Yang K, Wang D, Buser Z, Wang JC. Evaluation of changes in lumbar neuroforaminal dimensions in symptomatic young adults using positional MRI. Eur Spine J. 2017 Aug; 26(8):1999-2006. PMID: 28116511.
        View in: PubMed
      13. Liu A, Yang K, Wang D, Li C, Ren Z, Yan S, Buser Z, Wang JC. Level of conus medullaris termination in adult population analyzed by kinetic magnetic resonance imaging. Surg Radiol Anat. 2017 Jul; 39(7):759-765. PMID: 28091734.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Pham MH, Buser Z, Wang JC, Acosta FL. Low-magnitude mechanical signals and the spine: A review of current and future applications. J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Jun; 40:18-23. PMID: 28089422.
        View in: PubMed
      15. Ajiboye RM, D'Oro A, Ashana AO, Buerba RA, Lord EL, Buser Z, Wang JC, Pourtaheri S. Routine Use of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring During ACDFs for the Treatment of Spondylotic Myelopathy and Radiculopathy Is Questionable: A Review of 15,395 Cases. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jan 01; 42(1):14-19. PMID: 27120059.
        View in: PubMed
      16. Yuan H, Ding H, Hu L, Buser Z, Zhao H, Li X. Treatment for early postoperative esophageal fistula complicated with anterior cervical surgery. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2017 Jan; 25(1):2309499016684418. PMID: 28117633.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Takahashi S, Buser Z, Cohen JR, Roe A, Myhre SL, Meisel HJ, Brodke DS, Yoon ST, Park JB, Wang JC, Youssef JA. Complications Related to the Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 Use in Posterior Cervical Fusion. Clin Spine Surg. 2016 Sep 14. PMID: 27632774.
        View in: PubMed
      18. Schoell K, Buser Z, Jakoi A, Pham M, Patel NN, Hsieh PC, Liu JC, Wang JC. Postoperative complications in patients undergoing minimally invasive sacroiliac fusion. Spine J. 2016 Nov; 16(11):1324-1332. PMID: 27349627.
        View in: PubMed
      19. Buser Z, Brodke DS, Youssef JA, Meisel HJ, Myhre SL, Hashimoto R, Park JB, Tim Yoon S, Wang JC. Synthetic bone graft versus autograft or allograft for spinal fusion: a systematic review. J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Oct; 25(4):509-516. PMID: 27231812.
        View in: PubMed
      20. Yao Q, Cohen JR, Buser Z, Park JB, Brodke DS, Meisel HJ, Youssef JA, Wang JC, Yoon ST. Analysis of Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Use in the Treatment of Lumbar Degenerative Spondylolisthesis. Global Spine J. 2016 Dec; 6(8):749-755. PMID: 27853658.
        View in: PubMed
      21. Buser Z, Acosta FL. Stem cells and spinal fusion--are we there yet? Spine J. 2016 Mar; 16(3):400-1. PMID: 27063500.
        View in: PubMed
      22. Weng C, Wang J, Tuchman A, Wang J, Fu C, Hsieh PC, Buser Z, Wang JC. Influence of T1 Slope on the Cervical Sagittal Balance in Degenerative Cervical Spine: An Analysis Using Kinematic MRI. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 Feb; 41(3):185-90. PMID: 26650871.
        View in: PubMed
      23. D'Oro A, Spoonamore MJ, Cohen JR, Acosta FL, Hsieh PC, Liu JC, Chen TC, Buser Z, Wang JC. Effects of fusion and conservative treatment on disc degeneration and rates of subsequent surgery after thoracolumbar fracture. J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Mar; 24(3):476-82. PMID: 26637065.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Sayari AJ, Liu Y, Cohen JR, Van Halm-Lutterodt NI, Hai Y, Buser Z, Wang JC. Trends in vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty after thoracolumbar osteoporotic fracture: A large database study from 2005 to 2012. J Orthop. 2015 Dec; 12(Suppl 2):S217-22. PMID: 27047226; PMCID: PMC4796529 [Available on 12/01/16].
      25. Ruofeng Y, Cohen JR, Buser Z, Yoon ST, Meisel HJ, Youssef JA, Park JB, Wang JC, Brodke DS. Trends of Posterior Long Segment Fusion with and without Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 in Patients with Scoliosis. Global Spine J. 2016 Aug; 6(5):422-31. PMID: 27433425; PMCID: PMC4947408.
      26. Lao L, Cohen JR, Lord EL, Buser Z, Wang JC. Erratum to: Trends analysis of rhBMP utilization in single-level posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) in the United States. Eur Spine J. 2015 Sep; 24(9):2099. PMID: 26108390.
        View in: PubMed
      27. Zhong G, Buser Z, Lao L, Yin R, Wang JC. Kinematic relationship between missed ligamentum flavum bulge and degenerative factors in the cervical spine. Spine J. 2015 Oct 01; 15(10):2216-21. PMID: 26096477.
        View in: PubMed
      28. Lao L, Cohen JR, Lord EL, Buser Z, Wang JC. Trends analysis of rhBMP utilization in single-level posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) in the United States. Eur Spine J. 2016 Mar; 25(3):783-8. PMID: 26003814.
        View in: PubMed
      29. Yin R, Lord EL, Cohen JR, Buser Z, Lao L, Zhong G, Wang JC. Distribution of Schmorl nodes in the lumbar spine and their relationship with lumbar disk degeneration and range of motion. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 Jan 01; 40(1):E49-53. PMID: 25341975.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Buser Z, Liu J, Thorne KJ, Coughlin D, Lotz JC. Inflammatory response of intervertebral disc cells is reduced by fibrin sealant scaffold in vitro. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2014 Jan; 8(1):77-84. PMID: 22610998.
        View in: PubMed
      31. Buser Z, Kuelling F, Liu J, Liebenberg E, Thorne KJ, Coughlin D, Lotz JC. Biological and biomechanical effects of fibrin injection into porcine intervertebral discs. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Aug 15; 36(18):E1201-9. PMID: 21325992.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Allon AA, Aurouer N, Yoo BB, Liebenberg EC, Buser Z, Lotz JC. Structured coculture of stem cells and disc cells prevent disc degeneration in a rat model. Spine J. 2010 Dec; 10(12):1089-97. PMID: 20971687; PMCID: PMC2991542.
      33. Neidlinger-Wilke C, Liedert A, Wuertz K, Buser Z, Rinkler C, Käfer W, Ignatius A, Claes L, Roberts S, Johnson WE. Mechanical stimulation alters pleiotrophin and aggrecan expression by human intervertebral disc cells and influences their capacity to stimulate endothelial migration. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Apr 01; 34(7):663-9. PMID: 19333097.
        View in: PubMed