My research program integrates musculoskeletal bioengineering and regenerative medicine to discover novel and new therapies for precision medicine and rehabilitation. Musculoskeletal conditions, including low back pain, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis, afflict nearly 90% of all Americans. There is an urgent societal need to engineer innovative solutions to alleviate the public burdens of these diseases. We investigate the disease mechanisms that affect structure-function relationships of musculoskeletal tissues with the overall goal of developing tissue engineering and regenerative strategies for these diseases.
My research program has been a culmination of collaborations between engineers, molecular biologists, physical therapists, and orthopedic surgeons. More recently, we have started to collaborate with neuroscientists and physicists to investigate the tissue crosstalk between the nervous system and IVD biology in order to better understand the physiology of chronic pain in musculoskeletal disorders. On a long term basis, we hope to make a significant impact on musculoskeletal health by translating our findings from the laboratory to the clinic. Collaborations will continue to be a crucial part of doing innovative work to solve clinically relevant problems.