Loeser wins NIH award to build interdisciplinary team

Richard Loeser, MD, director of Basic and Translational Research, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, has received a National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) research grant enabling him to build an interdisciplinary research team to study how cell receptors called integrins transmit signals that control the response of cartilage cells to mechanical forces.

Loeser wins NIH award to build interdisciplinary team click to enlarge Richard Loeser, MD

Joining Loeser on the team are Keith Burridge, PhD, professor, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and Elizabeth Loboa, PhD, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering.

The purpose of this award is for investigators holding a current NIAMS RO1 research project grant to form a new interdisciplinary team that will add a novel and innovative approach to the ongoing project. 

The team will study how cell receptors called integrins transmit signals that control the response of cartilage cells to mechanical forces. Cartilage is the tissue that coats the ends of bones providing a smooth and slippery surface that allows for normal joint motion.

Maintenance of healthy cartilage is supported by a certain level of mechanical stimulation that occurs during normal joint use. However, abnormal and excessive forces on the cartilage, for example after a joint injury or in obese individuals, stimulate the cartilage cells to breakdown, resulting in development of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis and the number one cause of pain and disability in older adults. By better understanding the signals produced in response to various levels of force placed on cartilage cells, new therapies can be designed which would block the response seen with abnormal joint loading and promote the healthy responses needed for maintenance and repair.         

 

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