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URMC / Labs / Loiselle Lab / Projects



Tendon Regeneration

MyofibroblastThe cellular mechanisms of fibrotic tendon healing are not well-defined, leading to a critical lack of therapeutic targets.  Persistence of matrix-producing myofibroblasts are a dominant driver of tissue fibrosis and there is clear evidence that myofibroblast function depends on the fibroblast-lineage from which it is derived. Therefore, we are working to define lineage-specific contributions to myofibroblast fate, establish the molecular progression of tenocyte-myofibroblast differentiation, and disrupt the mechanisms that facilitate myofibroblast persistence to promote regenerative tendon healing.

Learn More About Our Tendon Regeneration Project

Maintain Tendon Structure-Function Through the Lifespan

Tendon Cell AgingTendon experiences substantial age-related impairments in structure, function, and healing capacity. The mechanisms that initiate these age-related disruptions are unknown and there are currently no therapeutic approaches to retain or restore tendon health through the lifespan. Our on-going work will define the multi-scale signature of tendon aging and define the efficacy of partial reprogramming to maintain and rescue tendon homeostasis and healing capacity in aged mice.

Learn More About Our Maintain Tendon Structure-Function Through the Lifespan Project

Mechanisms of Soft Tissue Fibrosis

Small SpatialFibrotic tendon healing occurs through a progressive series of spatially-distinct molecular events to elaborate areas of organized and fibrotic extracellular matrix. As such, defining the spatially-distinct cellular and molecular programs that underpin these unique tissue features is critically for establishing therapeutic approaches that promote regenerative programs and blunt fibrotic processes. To address this we conducted spatial transcriptomic profiling of the tendon healing process, and established key molecular drivers of different aspects of this process.

In addition to our focus on fibrotic tendon healing, we are also addressing the clinical challenge of post-operative abdominal adhesions in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Wilson and the ECLIPSe lab.

Learn More About Our Mechanisms of Soft Tissue Fibrosis Project