This program supports basic and translational research in the repair, regeneration, and restoration of function of injured and/or diseased musculoskeletal tissues using stem cell biology and engineering-based approaches. These tissues include bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament, menisci, muscle and intervertebral discs. Multi- and inter- disciplinary research teams with expertise in biological and physical sciences and cross-training for emerging scientists are encouraged.
Areas of supported research include the following:
- Pathways of human organogenesis - how cells self-assemble into complex tissues in vitro and in vivo.
- Cellular processes of mammalian stem and progenitor cells - controlling survival, differentiation, proliferation, migration, senescence, and responses to stimuli.
- Role of inflammation and responses to immune signals.
- Smart scaffolds for structural, mechanical, and functional support.
- Micro environment to promote repair and regeneration.
- Developing effective strategies to
- Recruit and direct endogenous progenitor or stem cells.
- Integrate engineered tissues with the host while reducing adverse effects (e.g., immunogenicity, toxicity).
- Improve molecular, cellular, or gene-based therapies.
- Building tools for
- Cell optimization and scale-up.
- 3-D fabrication.
- Tissue preservation and storage.
- Real-time, non-invasive modalities to track cells, and/or monitor tissue-function repair and integration process in vivo.
- Establish models, such as:
- 3-D human tissue models for drug screening or studying pathophysiological processes.
- Preclinical models to promote direct clinical translation.
- Exploring cross-talk between regeneration and rehabilitation to restore functions.