Dr. Courtland’s research background is highly interdisciplinary and includes research training in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, organic chemistry, anatomy, physiology, histology, genetics and biomechanics. This diverse background led him to the branch of science known as integrative physiology. Broadly speaking, integrative physiology deals with how the body responds to both external and internal stimuli. In terms of its practical applications, integrative physiology seeks to diagnose, prevent and treat disease through consideration of the interrelationship of different tissues, organs, and systems. Dr. Courtland’s particular research focus is on how endogenous systems and exogenous stimuli interact in the development and maintenance of musculoskeletal health and function.
As science continues to work for improved understanding and prevention of debilitating joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporotic fractures, total joint replacement surgeries are a fundamental part of patient care. Although total joint replacements are highly effective surgeries, implant failure still occurs, resulting in significant financial, physical and emotional burden. Through collaboration with a variety of surgeons and researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery Dr. Courtland is involved in several projects to identify novel mechanisms for enhancing bone-implant ingrowth and preventing implant loosening from native bone. In addition, Dr. Courtland is conducting a retrospective bioinformatics study on patients with adverse local tissue reactions (ALTRs) to total hip replacements in an effort to improve our understanding of the cellular and molecular events mediating implant failure.
Age-related or osteoporotic fractures are devastating to the elderly population. They can lead to severe reductions in quality of life and death. Fractures in the elderly are unique in that they tend to occur at specific sites (the ends of long bones and the vertebrae). Currently it is unclear if these sites respond differently to systemic cues (such as growth hormones and growth factors) or mechanical forces (such as walking, lifting, and exercising). Dr. Courtland’s work is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which physical activity affects different skeletal sites, surfaces, and marrow cell populations at different ages (adults and the elderly). His work in this area seeks, through contributions to the fields of skeletal and exercise physiology, to foster research that will lead to more directed (e.g., age and site-specific) treatment regimens for individuals with musculoskeletal disorders.
Kennedy O, Sun H, Wu Y, Courtland HW, Williams G, Cardoso L, Basta-Pljakic J, Schaffler M, and Yakar S. Skeletal response of male to anabolic hormone therapy in the absence of the Igfals gene. Endocrinology. 2014 In Press.
Courtland HW, Kennedy, O, Wu Y, Gao Y, Sun H, Schaffler, M, and Yakar S. Low levels of plasma IGF-1 inhibit intracortical bone remodeling during aging. AGE: Journal of the American Aging Association. 2012. Sept 14.
Elis S, Wu Y,Courtland HW, Cannata D, Sun H, Beth-On M, Liu C, Jasper H, Domene H, Karabatas L, Guida C, Basta-Pljakic J, Cardoso L, Rosen C, Frystyk J, and Yakar S. Unbound/bioavailable IGF-1 enhances somatic growth. Disease Models and Mechanisms. 2011 Sept-Oct 4(5)649-58.
Elis S , Wu Y, Courtland HW, Sun H, Rosen CJ, Adamo ML, and Yakar S. Increased serum IGF-1 levels protect the musculoskeletal system but are associated with elevated oxidative stress markers and increased mortality independent of tissue igf1 gene expression. Aging Cell. 2011 Jun;10(3):547-50.
Courtland HW, Sun H, Beth-On M, Elis S, Rosen CJ, Yakar S. Growth hormone mediates skeletal development independent of serum IGF-1. J. Bone Miner. Res. 2011 April;26(4):761-68.
Courtland HW, Elis S, Wu Y, Sun H, Rosen CJ, Jepsen KJ, Yakar S. Serum IGF-1 affects skeletal acquisition in a temporal and compartment-specific manner. PLoS One. 2011 Mar 18;6(3):e14762.
Pathak S, Swadener JG, Kalidindi SR, Courtland HW, Jepsen KJ, and Goldman HM. Measuring the dynamic mechanical response of hydrated mouse bone by nanoindentation. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. 2011 Jan;4(1):34-43.
Courtland HW, DeMambro V, Maynard J, Sun H, Elis S, Rosen CJ, Yakar S. Sex-specific regulation of body composition and bone slenderness by the acid labile subunit. J. Bone Miner Res. 2010 Sept;25(9):2059-68.
Elis S, Courtland HW, Wu Y, Sun H, Rosen CJ, Yakar S. Elevated serum IGF-1 levels synergize PTH action on the skeleton only when the tissue IGF-1 axis is intact. J. Bone Miner Res. 2010 Sept;25(9):2051-58.
Jepsen KJ, Courtland HW, Nadeau JH. Genetically-determined phenotype covariation networks control bone strength. J. Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jul;25;25(7):1581-1593.
Elis S, Courtland HW, Wu Y, Rosen CJ, Sun H, Jepsen KJ, Majeska RJ, and Yakar S. Elevated serum levels of IGF-1 are sufficient to establish normal body size and skeletal properties, even in the absence of tissue IGF-1. J. Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jun;25(6):1257-66.
Fritton CJ, Kawashima Y, Mejia W, Courtland HW, Elis S, Sun H, Wu Y, Rosen CJ, Clemmons D, Yakar S. The insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) binding protein acid-labile subunit (ALS) alters mesenchymal stromal cell fate. J. Biol. Chem 2010 Feb 12;285(7):4709-14.
Yakar S, Canalis E, Sun H, Mejia W, Kawashima Y, Nasser P, Courtland HW, Williams V, Bouxsein M, Rosen C, Jepsen KJ. Serum IGF-1 determines skeletal strength by regulating subperiosteal expansion and trait interactions. J. Bone Miner Res. 2009 Aug;24(8):1481-92.
Jepsen KJ, Hu B, Tommasini SM, Courtland HW, Price C, Cordova M, Nadeau JH. Phenotypic integration of skeletal traits during growth buffers genetic variants affecting the slenderness of femora in inbred mouse strains. Mamm Genome. 2009 Jan;20(1):21-33.
Courtland HW, Spevak L, Boskey AL, Jepsen KJ. Genetic Variation in Mouse Femoral Tissue-level Mineral Content Underlies Differences in Whole Bone Mechanical Properties. Cells Tiss Org. 2009;189(1-4):237-40.
Shao H , Burrage LC, Sinasac DS, Hill AE, Ernest SR, O'Brien W, Courtland HW, Jepsen KJ, Kirby A, Kulbokas EJ, Daly MJ, Broman KW, Lander ES, Nadeau JH. Genetic architecture of complex traits: large phenotypic effects and pervasive epistasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 Dec 16;105(50):19910-4.
Courtland HW, Nasser P, Goldstone, AB, Spevak L, Boskey AL, Jepsen KJ. FTIRI microspectroscopy and tissue-level mechanical testing reveal intra-species variation in mouse bone mineral and matrix composition. Calcified Tissue International. 2008;83(5):342-353.
Root RG, Courtland HW, Shepherd W, Long, Jr. JH. Flapping flexible fish. Periodic and secular body reconfigurations in swimming lamprey, Petromyzon marinus. Exp. Fluids. 2007;43:779-797.
Westreich, RW, Courtland, HW, Nasser, P, Jepsen, KJ, Lawson, W. Defining Nasal Cartilage Elasticity: Biomechanical Testing of the Tripod Theory Based on a Cantilevered Model. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2007;9(4):264-70.
Jepsen KJ, Hu B, Tommasini SM, Courtland HW, Price C, Terranova CJ, Nadeau JH. Genetic randomization reveals functional relationships among morphologic and tissue-quality traits that contribute to bone strength and fragility. Mamm Genome. 2007;(18):492-507.
Courtland HW, Wright GM, Root RG, DeMont ME. Comparative equilibrium mechanical properties of bovine and lamprey cartilaginous tissues. J Exp Biol. 2003;206(Pt 8):1397-408.
Yakar S, Courtland HW, Clemmons D. IGF-1 and Bone: New discoveries from mouse models. J. Bone Miner. Res. 2010 Dec;25(12):2543-52.
Courtland HW, Elis S, and Yakar, S. The anabolic effects of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 on skeletal growth and development: lessons from clinical and animal studies. Current Medical Literature. 2008;2(2):33-42.
Root RG, Courtland HW, Shepherd W, and Long, Jr JH. "Flapping Flexible Fish: Periodic and Secular Body Reconfigurations in Swimming Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus." In Animal Locomotion. Graham K. Taylor, Michael S. Triantafyllou, & Cameron Tropea, ed.s (Springer Verlag: Berlin Heidelberg, 2010) 141-160.
Assistant Scientist, Division of Mineralized Tissue Research
One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Research staff at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however, HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.
As part of the disclosure process, this website lists Research staff collaborations with outside companies if the Research staff member received any payment during the prior year or expects to receive any payment in the next year. The disclosures are based on information provided by the Research staff and other sources and are updated regularly. Current ownership interests and leadership positions are also listed. Further information may be available on individual company websites.
As of March 31, 2015, Dr. Courtland reported no relationships with healthcare industry.
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