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Research Focus

research-focus

Our research interest is in joint biology, joint aging, arthritis pathogenesis, preclinical and clinical drug development.

Since 1989 Dr. Lotz directed a program on joint aging and osteoarthritis. Our studies identified aging-related changes in cartilage and other joint tissues that determine risk for osteoarthritis.

We discovered that cellular homeostasis mechanisms are compromised in aging and that this represents an early event leading to tissue damage.We initiated a ‘Joint Omics’ project which uses next generation sequencing technologies to uncover aging and disease associated changes in the transcriptomes in joint tissues. Data from this project are being used to identify key regulators of the abnormal phenotypes of cells, with focus on transcription factors.

Our current studies address the role of FOXO, KLF and MKX transcription factors and the circadian rhythm pathway in cartilage homeostasis and osteoarthritis pathogenesis. These transcription factors are also being investigated in meniscus, ligaments and spine. Efforts are ongoing to discover small molecules and genetic approaches to target transcription factors in the treatment of joint diseases and in tissue engineering.