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Shawn Gilbert, MD

Executive Vice Chair
L. Gwaltney McCollum, Jr. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedics at Children's of Alabama 
Chief, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery

Areas of Interest
general pediatric orthopaedic surgery with emphasis in complex limb, hip and spine deformities


In 2003, Dr. Gilbert was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at  the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 2009, Dr. Gilbert was promoted to associate professor with tenure granted in 2012. In 2015, he was promoted to professor with tenure.

His clinical interests are in general pediatric orthopaedic surgery with emphasis in complex limb, hip and spine deformities.

Dr. Gilbert’s basic science research focuses on translational research to improve healing of bone and growth plate injuries, and investigations on the role of vasculature in skeletal development and regeneration. Clinical research interests include children’s fractures, scoliosis, clubfoot, and limb deformity. Research into the impact of childhood obesity on musculoskeletal health spans basic science and clinical research.

Dr. Gilbert received his undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina, and began his medical education at the University North Carolina School of Medicine, graduating in 1996. He completed his surgical residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of North Carolina Hospital in 2002 and a pediatric orthopaedic surgery fellowship at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in 2003.

Dr. Gilbert was appointed a scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, Bone and Autoimmunity Center in 2013, and he received a secondary appointment to the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology in 2013.

Dr. Gilbert is an ad hoc reviewer for Arthritis Research Therapy, Bone Research, Case Reports in Medicine, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Experimental Biology and Medicine, International Journal of Obesity, Journal of Biomaterials Application, Journal of Medical Hypothesis and Ideas, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Journal of Visualized Experiments, Pediatrics & Child Health and PLOS ONE.

He has served on committees for the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAO) and is chair of the AAOS Basic Science Evaluation Committee. He has presented his research at regional, national and international meetings. He has received the Vern Tolo and St. Giles research awards from POSNA. He has received external funding from POSNA, the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), NIH, and the Department of Defense.

Dr. Gilbert has participated in resident and graduate and medical student education, including direct clinical preceptorship, service on graduate student Ph.D. committees and serving as a research mentor. He also gives didactic lectures and cased based teaching conferences, in addition to developing and teaching a course in research design and methods for orthopaedic residents.

Selected Publications

BMI and Magnitude of Scoliosis at Presentation to a Specialty Clinic. Gilbert SR, Savage AJ, Whitesell R, Conklin MJ, Fineberg NS. Pediatrics. 2015 Jun;135(6):e1417-24. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2000. Epub 2015 May 11. PubMed PMID: 25963009.

Biomechanical Analysis of Screws Versus K-Wires for Lateral Humeral Condyle Fractures. Schlitz RS, Schwertz JM, Eberhardt AW, Gilbert SR. J Pediatr Orthop.2015 May 12. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25985374.

Prospective evaluation of the use of Mitchell shoes and dynamic abduction brace for idiopathic clubfeet Chong D, Fineberg N, Conklin MC, Doyle JS, Khoury JG, Gilbert SR, J Peds Orth Br J Pediatr Orthop B. 2014 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25144885.

Altered lower extremity fracture characteristics in obese pediatric trauma patients. Gilbert SR, MacLennan PA, Backstrom I, Creek A, Sawyer J. J Orthop Trauma. 2014 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24740109 (PMC4198524).

High-fidelity simulations for orthopaedic residents: medical complications and systems challenges. Lee White M, Gilbert SR, Youngblood AQ, Zinkan JL, Martin R, Tofil NM. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 May 15;95(10):e701-4. PubMed PMID: 2367737.

Pediatric Obesity and Traumatic Lower Extremity Long Bone Fracture Outcomes. Backstrom I, Rue L, McClendon P, Sawyer J, Gilbert SR. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012 Oct; 73(4):966-71. PMID: 22902734 PMCID:PMC3748582.

Increasing Vascularity to Improve healing of a Segmental Defect of the Rat Femur. Stewart R, Goldstein J, Eberhardt A, Gabriel Chu GT, Gilbert S. J Orthop Trauma 25(8):472-6, 2011. PMID: 21738061 PMCID:PMC3748583.

Prolyl Hydroxylase Inhibitors Increase Neoangiogenesis and Callus Formation Following Femur Fracture in Mice. Shen X, Wan C, Ramaswamy G, Mavalli M, Wang Y, Duvall CL, Deng LF, Guldberg RE, Eberhardt A, Clemens TL, Gilbert SR. J Orth Res. 27:1298, 2009. PMID: 19338032 PMCID:PMC3748583.

Activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha pathway accelerates bone regeneration. Gilbert SR, *Wan C, Wang Y, Cao X, Shen X, Ramaswamy G, Jacobsen KA, Alaql ZS, Eberhardt AW, Gerstenfeld LC, Einhorn TA, Deng L, Clemens TL. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105(2):686, 2008. (*co-first authors) PMID: 18184809, PMC2206597.

The hypoxia-inducible factor alpha pathway couples angiogenesis to osteogenesis during skeletal development. Wang Y, Wan C, Deng L, Liu X, Gilbert SR, Bouxsein ML, Faugere MC, Guldberg RE, Gerstenfeld LC, Haase VH, Johnson RS, Schipani E, Clemens TL. J Clin Invest. 117:1616, 2007. PMID: 17549257, PMC: 1878533


Medical School
University of North Carolina

University of Carolinas Hospitals
Orthopaedic Surgery Research Track

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery


Campus Address
Lowder Building
Suite 316

(205) 638-9540


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