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Photo of Dr. Mendias

Christopher Mendias, PhD, ATC

Photo of Dr. Mendias

Christopher Mendias, PhD, ATC

Back in the Game Patient Stories

Research Description

Dr. Christopher Mendias is an Associate Scientist in the Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program at HSS and an Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Mendias received his undergraduate degree in Athletic Training and Biology, and a MS degree in Physiology at the University of Arizona. He then received his PhD in Molecular & Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan Medical School, where he also completed his postdoctoral fellowship. Prior to arriving at the Hospital for Special Surgery in 2017, Dr. Mendias was an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The Mendias Lab is engaged in translational musculoskeletal regenerative medicine research. We conduct basic science studies on the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle and tendon growth, repair and regeneration. We also conduct clinical studies and trials to translate findings from the bench to the bedside in patients who have musculoskeletal injuries and diseases.

Our studies in skeletal muscle are focused on muscle atrophy and myosteatosis. Skeletal muscle fiber atrophy, fibrosis and myosteatosis (fat accumulation) commonly occurs after prolonged limb immobilization, in response to moderate or severe injuries to muscles, or as a result of congenital myopathies or dystrophies. Work in our lab is currently focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the development of atrophy and myosteatosis. These studies will allow for the design of novel therapeutic interventions for the treatment of muscle injuries and diseases and prevent the loss of function and decrease in the quality of life that often accompany these conditions.

Research that we conduct in connective tissue biology is focused on cellular and molecular regulation of tendon growth and remodeling, and how skeletal muscles connect to tendons at the myotendinous junction. Studying these fundamental biological processes will inform therapies for debilitating tendinopathies and skeletal muscle strain injuries, which commonly occur at the myotendinous junction.

Our clinical studies and trials integrate cellular biology, protein biochemistry and molecular genetics with medical imaging, patient reported outcomes and applied biomechanics to directly advance the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. 

Current Clinical Studies

Evaluation of rGH Therapy to Prevent Muscle Atrophy in Patients With ACL Tears

Stromal Vascular Fraction Cell Therapy to Improve the Repair of Rotator Cuff Tears

Longitudinal Profiling of Articular Cartilage Metabolism and Joint Inflammation following Knee Arthroscopy


For patients interested in more information about our clinical trials, please contact our clinical research coordinator, Dan Edon, edond@hss.edu, 212.774.7833.

Industry Relationships

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.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Mendias as of May 28, 2020.

  • Journal of Applied Physiology - Editorial Board Member
  • Translational Sports Medicine - Associate Editor
  • Orthopaedic Research Society - Editorial Board Member

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS Research staff with industry on this website, HSS and its Research staff make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit payment of royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Feel free to ask the Research staff member about their relationship(s).

Selected Publications

View preprint manuscripts from the Mendias Lab.

Disser NP*, Sugg KB*, Talarek JR, Sarver DC, Rourke BJ, Mendias CL. Insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling in tenocytes is required for adult tendon growth. FASEB J. 2019 Nov;33(11):12680-12695.

Gumucio JP, Qasawa AH, Ferrara PJ, Malik AN, Funai K, McDonagh B, Mendias CL. Reduced mitochondrial lipid oxidation leads to fat accumulation in myosteatosis. FASEB J. 2019 Jul;33(7):7863-7881. 

Schubert MF, Noah AC, Bedi A, Gumucio JP, Mendias CL. Reduced Myogenic and Increased Adipogenic Differentiation Capacity of Rotator Cuff Muscle Stem Cells. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2019 Feb 6;101(3):228-238.

Gumucio JP, Sugg KB, Enselman ERS, Konja AC, Eckhardt LR, Bedi A, Mendias CL. Anterior cruciate ligament tear induces a sustained loss of muscle fiber force production. Muscle Nerve. 2018 Jul;58(1):145-148.

Sugg KB, Markworth JF, Disser NP, Rizzi AM, Talarek JR, Sarver DC, Brooks SV, Mendias CL. Postnatal Tendon Growth and Remodeling Requires Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor Signaling. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2018 Apr 1;314(4):C389-C403.

Syverud BC, Gumucio JP, Rodriguez BL, Wroblewski OM, Florida SE, Mendias CL, Larkin LM. A Transgenic tdTomato Rat for Cell Migration and Tissue Engineering Applications. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2018 May;24(5):263-271.

Sugg KB, Korn MD, Sarver DC, Markworth JF, Mendias CL. Inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor signaling prevents muscle fiber growth during skeletal muscle hypertrophy. FEBS Lett. 2017 Mar;591(5):801-809.

Hudgens JL, Sugg KB, Grekin JA, Gumucio JP, Bedi A, Mendias CL. Platelet rich plasma activates pro-inflammatory signaling pathways and induces oxidative stress in tendon fibroblasts. Am J Sports Med. 2016 Aug;44(8):1931-40.

Mendias CL, Bakhurin KI, Gumucio JP, Shallal-Ayzin MV, Davis CS, Faulkner JA. Haploinsufficiency of myostatin protects against aging-related declines in muscle function and enhances the longevity of mice. Aging Cell. 2015 Aug;14(4):704-6.

Schwartz AJ, Sarver DC, Sugg KB, Dzierzawski JT, Gumucio JP, Mendias CL. p38 MAPK Signaling in Postnatal Tendon Growth and Remodeling. PLoS One. 2015 Mar;10(3):e0120044.

Fry CS, Lee JD, Mula J, Kirby TJ, Jackson JR, Liu F, Yang L, Mendias CL, Dupont-Versteegden EE, McCarthy JJ, Peterson CA. Satellite cell depletion alters the muscle environment but not myofiber phenotype and function with aging. Nature Med. 2015 Jan;21(1):76-80.

Mendias CL, Davis ME, Sibilsky Enselman ER, Harning JA, DeWolf PD, Makki TA, Bedi A. Changes in Circulating Biomarkers of Muscle Atrophy, Inflammation and Cartilage Turnover in Patients Undergoing Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. Am J Sports Med. 2013 Aug;41(8):1819-26.

Gumucio JP, Davis ME, Bradley JR, Stafford PL, Schiffman CJ, Lynch EB, Claflin DR, Bedi A, Mendias CL. Rotator cuff tear reduces muscle fiber specific force production and induces macrophage accumulation and autophagy. J Orthop Res. 2012 Dec;30(12):1963-70.

Mendias CL, Bakhurin KI, Faulkner JA. Tendons of myostatin-deficient mice are small, brittle, and hypocellular. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jan 8;105(1):388-93.

For more publications, please see the Mendias Lab PubMed listing.


Associate Scientist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Associate Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medical College
Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College 
Program Faculty, Graduate Program in Physiology, Biophysics and Systems Biology, Weill Cornell Medical College
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School