The Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at Boston University is dedicated to exploring the scientific basis of musculoskeletal diseases and injuries and to developing new technologies for the improvement of musculoskeletal function. Our department is heavily involved in the care of patients who have skeletal trauma, sport injuries, degenerative joint diseases, and spinal conditions. As a result, a heavy emphasis is placed on investigations into the repair and regeneration of bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Projects in the laboratory range from studies on the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of skeletal tissue healing to those that elucidate how healing responses mimic developmental processes, respond to mechanical forces, or are influenced by growth factors, receptor agonists, drugs or diseases. In addition, because of our deep interest in understanding the molecular genetics of skeletal metabolism and the cellular responses which govern its homeostasis, how these processes are involved in skeletal tumorigenesis or metastasis is also an area of investigation. Strong interdepartmental collaborations with the College of Engineering and the School of Dentistry at Boston University provide an exceptional environment for intellectual development.
The Orthopaedic Research Laboratory was founded in 1997 after a unified Department of Orthopaedic Surgery was formed as a result of the merger between Boston University Hospital and Boston City Hospital to form Boston Medical Center. With the appointment of Thomas A. Einhorn, MD as Chairman, a mandate was established to develop a strong academic department with a substantial research component. Louis C. Gerstenfeld, PhD was recruited to direct the laboratory in 1998. Since that time, several scientists with doctoral degrees in molecular biology, bioengineering, anatomy and physiology, and dental sciences have been recruited as faculty. The laboratory now has grown to involve a staff of over twenty-five scientists including faculty, post-doctoral research fellows, masters and doctoral candidates, medical students, technicians, and visiting scientists. The major source of funding for the laboratory is the National Institutes of Health. We are also funded by the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Department of Defense, and several companies whose technologies range from bone growth stimulating products to pharmaceutical discovery.