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:

  • Understanding
    • 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.
  • Engineering
    • 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.

Contact Us

Aron Marquitz, Ph.D.

Program Director
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Building: Democracy 1, Suite 800
Bethesda MD 20892-4872

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