Advancing Orthopedics and Musculoskeletal Health Through Basic Research
Leaders in basic and translational musculoskeletal research providing exceptional training opportunities and national service. Our labs are directed by 11 Principal Investigators with diverse training in biomedical engineering, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics and orthopedics. Our labs comprise more than 60 talented staff, students and fellows. Collectively, we have published more than 1200 research articles with a cumulative h-index greater than 400.
We study a range of topics in musculoskeletal biology, disease, injury and regeneration. Osteoporosis, Bone Biology & Fracture Healing: We study the causes of diminished bone mass and strength leading to osteoporosis, with expertise in the biology of the osteoblast and the osteoclast, biomechanics, bone imaging and mechanobiology. We study the mechanisms of how bones heal after fracture. Bone Metastatic Cancer: We study the interaction between bone cells, immune cells and cancer cells to decipher why tumor cells seed and expand in the bone marrow microenvironment. Arthritis & Cartilage Biology: We study the causes of joint degeneration leading to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and explore ways to slow degeneration, with expertise in chondrocyte biology, inflammation and joint injury. Regenerative Medicine: We are developing new ways to treat damaged cartilage with functional biomaterials and smart cells. Skeletal Deformity: We study the genetic causes of scoliosis and limb deformities such as club foot, combining patient studies with studies in mice and zebrafish. Disc Degeneration & Back Pain: We study intervertebral disc degeneration and the biomechanical and biochemical factors contributing to low back pain.
Research is a collaborative endeavor. We are founding members of the Musculoskeletal Research Center, in partnership with the Bone & Mineral Diseases Division, Department of Medicine. We also lead the Regenerative Medicine Research Lab and other research programs at Shriners Hospital for Children – St. Louis , and are founding members of the WU Center for Regenerative Medicine.