The two main areas of research in our laboratory are 1) the role of the central and peripheral sympathetic nervous system on bone remodeling and cancer metastasis and 2) the role of the RAS-GAP neurofibromin during skeleton development, growth, remodeling and repair.
The skeleton is an organ that is richly supplied with blood vessels but also nerves. These nerves can be sensory (hence the pain when you hurt your bones) or sympathetic. The latter type regulates body involuntary functions such as heart rate or breathing. Several studies within the last 10 years revealed the role of these nerves in regulating the process that maintains the skeleton in an optimal state in adulthood, i.e. bone remodeling. Our efforts now focus in identifying the pathophysiological relevance of these findings, using genetic and pharmacologic approaches.
The second main interest of the laboratory relates to the skeletal maladies observed in patients with neurofibromatosis type I (NF1). Tibia bowing, fracture non-union and dystrophic scoliosis are the most problematic skeletal conditions that can be found in some of these patients, and treatments are liited to invasive surgeries. We use our expertise in bone physiology and bone cell biology to understand the etiology of these skeletal conditions and to propose pre-clinical mouse models as well as targeted therapeutic approaches aiming at preventing or curing such conditions.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2215 Garland Avenue
Room 1255D Light Hall
Nashville, TN 37232
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MeSH terms are retrieved from PubMed records. Learn more.
Key: MeSH Term KeywordAdrenergic beta-Antagonists Apoptosis Bone Bone and Bones Bone Marrow Cells bone metastasis Bone Neoplasms Cell Proliferation chondrocyte Densitometry Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases Female Humans Organ Size osteoblast osteoclast Osteogenesis osteoporosis Phenotype Propranolol Rats Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2 Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor Skeleton Sympathetic Nervous System Vestibule, Labyrinth Video Recording