The COBRE for Skeletal Health and Repair at Rhode Island Hospital enables clinicians, scientists, engineers and biologists to work side by side on multidisciplinary research, helping to better understand cartilage and joint health mechanisms and develop strategies for the prevention and treatment of skeletal joint diseases.
There are currently more than 80 COBRE research centers in the US, and Rhode Island Hospital’s COBRE is one of just two that are nationally focused on bone and joint diseases.
The Rhode Island Hospital COBRE has the unique distinction of conducting research projects on both adult and pediatric skeletal health and diseases; conducting basic research as well as clinical and translational research; and working toward developing repair and regeneration strategies using tissue engineering.
In Phase I, the COBRE for Skeletal Health and Repair achieved three goals:
- The center expanded and renovated laboratory space and established research cores.
- Junior investigators were mentored and graduated. The majority are clinicians/scientists treating patients.
- The center conducted research that included preventing childhood limb deformities, treating bone cancer and arthritis, and rebuilding healthy joints using tissue engineering.
In Phase II, the main objective of the COBRE is to sustain the success of the Phase I by mentoring a new generation of junior investigators to achieve independent extramural funding status, thereby further expanding and enhancing the skeletal research base in Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University.
The new research projects are all led by promising young investigators in biological and engineering research fields. These projects will analyze how mechanical loading affects long bone growth during skeletal development, examine how joint cartilage degenerates in adult joint diseases and develop novel strategies of harvesting stem cells for bone repair.
The funding for Phase III will allow the COBRE research infrastructure to transition to a competitive, independent, and self-sustaining academic center of excellence over the next five years. The first two phases built research capacity and funding eligibility in musculoskeletal diseases. Phase III funding will assist project support toward the goal of creating preliminary research and tangible results.