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The main projects focus on:
1) Evaluating the potential for disc repair in early to moderate stages of disc degeneration. We use an organ culture model and a bioreactor allowing the application of static and/or dynamic cyclic axial loading to intervertebral disc explants, thus mimicking an in-vivo mechanical environment. We aim at evaluate the efficacy of repair by studying both extracellular matrix composition and biomechanical function of the treated disc. The overall goal is to show that it is possible to restore the integrity of the degenerated disc matrix with biological means. This would demonstrate that this may be a feasible therapeutic option in the future.
2) To identify novel markers of early disc degeneration that are not generated in the intervertebral disc as a consequence of ageing and to evaluate the effect of repetitive non-physiological loading on their generation.
3) Characterization of changes in protein composition of the extra cellular matrix from the convex to the concave aspect of scoliotic discs compared to normal control discs. This study will increase the understanding of composition and function of the extracellular matrix. Also, it will provide a link between biochemical composition and biomechanical properties in normal and pathophysiological conditions. The projects utilize a variety of techniques in protein biochemistry, and cell biology.
I received my Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Lund University, Sweden in 2000 (Chondrocyte-Matrix Interactions, with emphasis on the collagen binding integrin alpha10beta1, L.Camper). Before joining the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory I completed my postdoctoral training in the section for Connective Tissue Biology at Lund University Sweden and at the Joint Diseases Laboratory, Shriners Hospital and McGill University. Graduate (PhD and MSc) student positions available for Canadian or international students! A background in, biology, biochemistry, or cell biology is preferable. Please send all inquiries to email@example.com.