Department of Orthopaedic Surgery | Musculoskeletal Institute | UConn Health, Farmington, Connecticut
Our laboratory is primarily interested in translational and evolutionary cell biology of fracture healing.
We are currently using molecular/genetic and surgical techniques in zebrafish, as well as vertebrate cell culture models, to understand the mechanisms of post-developmental osteochondral differentiation by Notch signaling and other stem cell regulatory pathways.
Our goal is to restore form, function and quality of life following musculoskeletal trauma.
Zebrafish are aquatic vertebrates with a rich history as a model organism in developmental and regenerative biology. Much like the ubiquitous lab mouse, zebrafish share a common ancestor with humans and therefore possess evolutionarily conserved molecular and anatomical homologies. For example, more than 80% of human disease-causing genes have zebrafish counterparts, which allows scientists to study mechanisms of disease and search for novel treatments in a field called translational medicine.
Interestingly, using many of the same cell signaling pathways, zebrafish are able to regenerate severe organ damage and amputation better than humans. Our goal is to find out how this process is coordinated, which may one day give humans the same capabilities.
Our laboratory studies skeletal stem cells and the molecular mechanisms regulating their response to injury. We have particular interest in craniofacial trauma, and study therapeutic osteogenesis driven by orthobiologic and small molecule interventions.
- Our lab at the UConn Health Musculoskeletal Institute opened in June, 2019. We are looking to expand the team with enthusiastic and inquisitive students. See below for opportunties.
Publications & News
In our latest publication, we implicate C1q/TNF-related protein 3 (CTRP3), a circulating cytokine, in fracture union and remodeling in a genetic mouse model. CTRP3 may be useful as a therapeutic target or biomarker for fracture non-union.
UConn Health is a dynamic and highly collaborative environment to do research in. Our lab is located in the Musculoskeletal Institute, where we see orthopedic patients every day on our way into the lab. This makes for an especially motivating environment since we are constantly reminded of why we do the work we do!
We love what we do and who we do it with!
We are currently a small lab but looking to grow. Please contact us if you are interested in any opportunities.
Undergraduate students from UConn or other nearby institutions are welcome to reach out: especially honors students interested in conducting thesis research.
Our group participates in the Skeletal Biology and Regeneration graduate program. Prospective rotation students are welcome to inquire directly about opportunities for Spring 2021.
Medical students and residents who are passionate about basic orthopaedic science are encouraged to contact us to discuss personalized research opportunities.
We do not have any open staff positions or funded postdoc positions at this time. Any future links to job applications will be posted here.