Our Musculoskeletal Stem Cell Biology program covers broad interests in the identification, self-renewal, maintenance, cell fate determination, and differentiation of several types of musculoskeletal stem cells. These include mesenchymal stem cells that give rise to cartilage, bone, fat, and connective tissues, hematopoietic stem cells that generate all blood cells and are housed in the bone marrow, and skeletal muscle stem cells that are required for skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. We study these stem cells both in the context of embryonic development and adult musculoskeletal repair and tissue engineering. We are attempting to gain a broader understanding of the molecular circuits that regulate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation so that we may develop strategies to manipulate musculoskeletal stem cells for treatments of congenital skeletal dysplasias, age-related skeletal diseases (osteoporosis and osteoarthritis), bone fractures, myelodysplasias, sarcopenia, neuromuscular degenerative disorders, and skeletal and hematopoietic related cancers.
Program Faculty: Hani Awad, Danielle Benoit, Brendan Boyce, Laura Calvi, Joe Chakkalakal, Roman Eliseev, Jennifer Jonason, Alayna Loiselle, J. Edward Puzas, Edward M. Schwarz, Lianping Xing, Xinping Zhang