Theodore Miclau, MD

Core

Bone has the capacity to regenerate with identical tissue after injury. Our current research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying this regenerative capacity in order to develop therapies for treating patients that exhibit difficulty healing. Given that the repair process is governed by the recruitment and differentiation of cells to the site of injury, we are studying the role of stem cells during healing. Using clinically relevant murine models, we are identifying the source of endogenous stem cells during fracture repair, as well as assessing the response of these cells to exogenous growth factors such as Bone morphogenetic proteins (Bmps). Another area of research is to direct differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into cell types that can repair the skeleton. Pre-treated cells are introduced into the fracture site of mice in order to determine the extent to which the cells will respond to environment cues and integrate into the regenerating bone. The overall goal of this research is to develop protocols for producing lines of skeletal progenitor cells that can then be differentiated along osteogenic and chondrogenic pathways at will. These basic research interests are complimented by a clinical research infrastructure that has had a primary focus on evaluating the response of endogenous stem cells to different mechanical environments and growth factor treatments.