Research

Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program

Program Mission:
The mission of the Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program is to define cellular and molecular mechanisms important in musculoskeletal tissue destruction and to develop novel approaches to preventing tissue destruction in patients with arthritis and related diseases. Important components of the mission include education and mentorship of students and junior scientists, and providing a platform for interactions among basic and clinical investigators interested in orthopedic and rheumatic diseases.

Program Goals:
Cells resident in musculoskeletal tissues, including osteoclasts, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and fibroblasts mediate homeostatic remodeling and maintain tissue integrity. Dysregulation of the balance between the destructive and reparative functions of these cells during the course of arthritis and related orthopedic and rheumatic diseases results in tissue damage. The function of tissue cells in these diseases is regulated by extracellular factors and environmental stimuli, including extracellular matrix and soluble factors, and infiltrating inflammatory cells. The long range goal of the program is to understand the cellular and molecular basis for tissue destruction in orthopedic and rheumatic diseases. The specific goals are:

  1. To study cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the balance between destructive and reparative functions of musculoskeletal tissue cells.

  2. To identify molecular mechanisms by which cells cause tissue destruction in arthritis and related orthopedic and rheumatic diseases.

  3. To study interactions between infiltrating inflammatory cells and resident tissue cells that induce tissue destruction.

  4. To define mechanisms of tissue damage in patients with arthritis and in animal models of arthritis.

  5. To foster interactions between scientists interested in musculoskeletal tissues and scientists interested in inflammation, and among basic scientists and clinical investigators interested in the relevant orthopedic and rheumatic diseases.

  6. To translate knowledge on mechanisms of tissue damage into novel therapies that will prevent tissue damage and maintain patient mobility.
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