Selected Abstracts 2008-2009
Research: Basic Science
Basic science research is conducted through the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, a facility staffed with nine full-time Ph.D.s and headed by Iriving Shapiro, Ph.D. This department focuses on mechanisms controlling skeletal development and growth in fetal and postnatal life. Emphasis is on identification of molecular regulators acting at the nuclear level that direct commitment, determination and differentiation of progenitor skeletal cells. The aim is to target those regulators in gene- and drug-based therapies to repair and reconstruct skeletal tissues affected by pathologies, including osteoarthritis and congenital skeletal defects.

Emphasis is also on signaling diffusible factors that normally act within developing skeletal elements to coordinate growth and morphogenesis. When these factors escape skeletal tissues and diffuse into adjacent non-skeletal tissues due to failure of restraining topographical mechanisms, they can trigger pathologies, including heterotopic ossification and multiple exostosis syndrome. Experimental therapies are being tested to restore normal factor-restraining mechanisms and block or reverse those pathologies.
George Feldman, PhD
Andrzej Fertala, PhD
Theresa Freeman, PhD
Noreen Hickok, PhD
Makarand Risbud, PhD
Irving Shapiro, PhD

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.