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Professor Kuo inducted as fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Catherine K. Kuo, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and orthopaedics, was elected for her “innovative contributions to understanding mechanical regulation of embryonic development to inform tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies.”

Kuo joined the Rochester faculty in 2015 and directs a multidisciplinary research team in developing novel strategies to regenerate adult tissues from stem cells inspired by embryonic development. She and her students have discovered that adult stem cells behave like embryonic cells when cultured in biomaterials that are engineered to mimic embryonic tissue. These adult stem cell-regenerated tissues can then be implanted in the body to replace diseased or injured tissues that have limited capacity to heal.

They have also discovered how embryo movements, like kicking, directly regulate the development of musculoskeletal tissues. These studies have led to the discovery of therapeutic molecules that can be used with physical rehabilitation to promote healing of adult musculoskeletal tissues, such as tendons, after injury.

Congratulations to rising junior Sereen Assi
Sereen received a prestigious Xerox Fellowship to pursue research in the Kuo Lab during Summer 2019!

Congratulations to PhD students Phong Nguyen and Jose Suarez Loor for receiving Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) Travel Awards to attend the 2018 ORS Tendon Section Conference in Portland, OR!

Congratulations to rising junior Feiyang Andy Deng
Andy received a prestigious Xerox Fellowship to pursue research in the Kuo Lab during Summer 2018!

Congratulations to rising junior Joseph Criscione
Joe received a prestigious Xerox Fellowship to pursue research in the Kuo Lab during Summer 2018!

Congratulations to Jiewen (Megerize) Li!
Congratulations to Megerize for her contributions to the poster “Embryonic and Postnatal Tendon Cells Exhibit Intrinsically Different Responses to IL-1beta Potentially via p38 MAPK Signaling” that won the Tendon Section Poster Award at the ORS 2018 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA!

Professor Kuo Receives NIH Funding
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Professor Catherine K. Kuo has received an NIH R01 grant for the project titled, "Tendon Tissue Engineering Informed by Lysyl Oxidase Regulation of Embryonic Tendon Mechanical Properties.” This project includes fellow BME faculty members Hani Awad, Edward Brown, and Mark Buckley as collaborators. This research will investigate the role of lysyl oxidase (LOX) in regulating tendon mechanical property development. The goal is to develop novel LOX-based strategies with stem cells to promote healing of injured tendons, which are unable to heal naturally.

Abstract: Musculoskeletal injuries are a leading cause of disability and medical costs in the United States. Approximately half of these injuries involve tendons and ligaments. The lifelong dysfunction, pain, and increased risk of re- injury due to poor healing have motivated our long-term goal to regenerate new tendon from stem cells to restore function and quality of life. Typical stem cell-based approaches aim to promote quantity of extracellular matrix (ECM) content, with the assumption that ECM quantity correlates with mechanical properties. However, these approaches have yet to achieve functional tendons. This has led us to ask how tendon develops naturally in the embryo to inform a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based tendon regeneration approach. Our studies in the chick embryo recently showed that lysyl oxidase (LOX)-mediated crosslinking correlates strongly with mechanical properties during tendon development, and that inhibition of LOX activity reduces crosslinking and elastic modulus despite continued increases in matrix content. Furthermore, LOX activity appears to be regulated by embryonic kicking (mechanical loading). Based on these exciting data, we hypothesize LOX is a critical regulator of developing tendon mechanical properties, and that developmentally informed manipulation of LOX activity can promote functional tendon regeneration with MSC. The hypothesis will be tested with the following three specific aims: 1) determine LOX expression patterns and role in embryonic tendon mechanical property development; 2) elucidate how mechanical loading regulates LOX during embryonic tendon development; 3) develop approaches to enhance engineered MSC-construct mechanical properties via LOX-mediated crosslinking. The proposed work is innovative because our approach focuses on restoring ECM quality, rather than quantity, of the regenerating tendon matrix, and aims to inform this approach with embryonic development. Our novel strategy combines the chick embryo model with tissue engineering and bioreactor loading systems to investigate LOX and mechanical loading interactions in functional tendon development. Our long-term goal is to design developmentally inspired LOX-targeted therapies utilizing MSC to improve tendon mechanical properties.

Congratulations to Professor Kuo for receiving an NIH R01
September 21, 2017

Professor Kuo received an NIH R01 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the NIH to investigate “Tendon Tissue Engineering Informed by Lysyl Oxidase Regulation of Embryonic Tendon Mechanical Properties”. 

Professor Kuo receives Research Award at Vail Scientific Summit on Regenerative & Translational Medicine
August 26, 2017

Professor Kuo received a prestigious Research Award at the Vail Scientific Summit on Regenerative & Translational Medicine in Colorado.

Congratulations to Alexa Annoti for receiving a Reach Fellowship
Friday, April 28, 2017

Alexa Annotti received the prestigious Reach Fellowship to pursue research in the Kuo Lab during Summer 2017! We are grateful that Reach funds are available thanks to the generous gifts of University of Rochester friends and alumni who believe in the importance of experiential opportunities. Congratulations to Alexa!

Professor Edward Brown and Professor Catherine K. Kuo receive grant from Department of Defense (DoD)
Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Department of Defense office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs has awarded Professor Edward Brown and Professor Catherine K. Kuo a grant for their research project titled, "Understanding the Role of Matrix Microstructure in Metastasis.” The goal of this project is to evaluate molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of an optical scattering phenomenon to predict metastatic outcome in patient samples.

Breanna O’Reilly receives Xerox FellowshipBreanna and Catherine
Monday, August 8, 2016

Breanna O’Reilly, BME undergraduate student, participated in Xerox Engineering Research Fellows Program. Her experience as a Xerox Fellow was highlighted in the news at the University of Rochester.

Read More: Breanna O’Reilly receives Xerox Fellowship

Professor Catherine K. Kuo awarded an NIH Pilot Grant
Sunday, May 15, 2016

Professor Catherine K. Kuo was awarded an NIH Pilot Grant through the P30 Enrichment Pilot Grant Program at the Center for Musculoskeletal Research of the University of Rochester School of Medicine to study intrinsic differences between axial and limb tendon cells of the developing embryo.

Associate Professor Catherine K. Kuo, Assistant Professor Mark Buckley, and Dr. Natasha O’Malley receive a University Research Award
Thursday, April 28, 2016

Associate Professor Catherine K. Kuo (PI, BME), Assistant Professor Mark Buckley (Co-PI, BME), and Dr. Natasha O’Malley (Co-PI, Orthopaedics) received a University Research Award for a new collaborative project, as one of just eight application chosen by senior research leadership. The project “Role of Mechanics in Etiology of Congenital Talipes Equinovarus” will develop novel in vitro and in vivo experimental models to investigate the role of aberrant mechanical loading of embryonic tendons in the development of clubfoot. The findings of this study will help motivate novel prevention and treatment strategies for nearly 200,000 babies born with clubfoot each year.

Professor Catherine K. Kuo receives prestigious Award for Innovation in Research in Sweden
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Professor Catherine K. Kuo received the prestigious Award for Innovation in Research at the Go:Life in Orthopaedics Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden in December. She was nominated for the award by an international group of world-renowned scientists, engineers, orthopaedic surgeons, and physiotherapists.