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Mechanisms of stem cell potency in arthritis


Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) contribute to maintenance of connective tissues and regeneration of tissues damaged in disease. MSCs are depleted and functionally altered in osteoarthritis. However, the contribution of this stem cell deficit on the etiology of osteoarthritis is unknown.

The purpose of this research is to examine the role that MSCs play in the development of degenerative joint disease and the underlying mechanism of altered MSC differentiation in OA will be a central focus of the proposal. This proposal will elucidate mechanisms of stem cell differentiation both in vivo and in vitro and will have a significant impact in defining the role of stem cells in osteoarthritis and in particular on the contribution of a stem cell deficit function to disease progression.

In addition this research will contribute significantly to elucidation of the mechanisms the therapeutic efficacy of stem cells in osteoarthritis. This research will break new ground in osteoarthritis and stem cell research and may ultimately lead to the design and development of novel therapies for not only this disease but also allow the development of therapies for other diseases.

The funds requested in this proposal will be used to facilitate re-integration of an EU citizen who has trained and worked in the US for over 14 years and has recently moved to take up a position in the newly established Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in Ireland.

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