This program supports basic and translational research in the repair, regeneration, and restoration of function of injured and/or diseased musculoskeletal tissues using stem cell biology - and engineering - based approaches. These tissues include bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament, menisci, muscle and intervertebral discs. Multi- and inter- disciplinary research teams with expertise in biological and physical sciences and cross-training for emerging scientists are encourage.

Areas of research supported by the Musculoskeletal, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Program include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • Understanding
    • Pathways of human organogenesis - how cells self-assemble into complex tissues in vitro and in vivo.
    • Cellular processes of mammalian stem and progenitor cells - controlling survival, differentiation, proliferation, migration, senescence, and responses to stimuli.
    • Role of inflammation and responses to immune signals.
  • Engineering
    • smart scaffolds for structural, mechanical, and functional support.
    • Micro environment to promote repair and regeneration.
  • Developing effective strategies to
    • Recruit and direct endogenous progenitor or stem cells.
    • Integrate engineered tissues with the host while reducing adverse effects (e.g., immunogenicity, toxicity).
    • Improve molecular, cellular, or gene-based therapies.
  • Building tools for
    • Cell optimization and scale-up.
    • 3-D fabrication.
    • Tissue preservation and storage.
    • Real-time, non-invasive modalities to track cells, and/or monitor tissue-function repair and iintegration process in vivo.
  • Establish models, such as:
    • 3-D human tissue models for drug screening or studying pathophysiological processes.
    • Preclinical models to promote direct clinical translation.
  • Exploring cross-talks between regeneration and rehabilitation to restore functions

Contact Us

Fei Wang, Ph.D.

Program Director
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Building: Democracy 1, Room: 860
Bethesda MD 20892-4872

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The Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases supports research aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system and its component tissues.


See all Scientific Areas in the Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases


Last Updated: June 2020