Research Objectives

Lifespan Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for Skeletal Health and RepairThe COBRE for Skeletal Health and Repair's primary objective is to sustain the success of Phase I in Phase II. By mentoring a new generation of junior investigators to achieve independent funding, the center can expand and enhance skeletal research at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University.

Our current research projects are led by promising young investigators who specialize in clinical, biological and engineering research.

Our junior investigators have been selected from Rhode Island Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. They include a biologist, a bioengineer and a clinician/scientist. Their mentors, who are principal investigators of multiple federal grants, including NIH RO1, will supervise the junior investigators' research projects, serve as their role models and help them obtain federal research project grants.

Supporting the Investigators

The research projects will be supported by three core facilities that are developed to meet the needs of new investigators: bioengineering, molecular biology and imaging, and administration. By sustaining and continually developing the proposed research infrastructure, clinicians, research scientists, junior investigators, senior investigators, biologists and bioengineers will work side-by-side. This multi-disciplinary approach is necessary to develop translational strategies for prevention and treatment of skeletal joint diseases.

Achieving Our Goals:

  • Aim 1: Develop and guide cutting edge research projects conducted by promising junior faculty members within the scope of skeletal joint health and repair. These projects have the following specific aims.
    • Sub-aim 1: To investigate the regulatory mechanisms of chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation by intracellular mechanotransduction pathways, including mTOR.
    • Sub-aim 2: To understand the genes involved in calcium crystal deposition in the articular cartilage and the mechanisms responsible for accelerated osteoarthritis.
    • Sub-aim 3: To develop a novel strategy for high-yield, lineage-specific enrichment of living mesenchymal stem cells for bone repair, with tissue engineering.
  • Aim 2: Provide scientific and career mentorship to junior faculties by operating an administrative core that consists of mentors from different research disciplines (clinical, biology and bioengineering).
  • Aim 3: Enhance an interactive research environment by operating state-of-the-art core facilities in bioengineering as well as molecular biology and imaging.