Program Director of Bone Repair and Regenerative Therapeutics
Center for Regenerative Sports Medicine
Steadman Philippon Research Institute

Associate Adjunct Professor
Orthopaedic Trauma Institute
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Affiliate Faculty
Departments of Biomedical Engineering & Clinical Science
Colorado State University

Specific Area of Interest
My long-term research goal is to develop translationally relevant therapies or diagnostics that improve health. I focus primarily on the central process of endochondral ossification, which is the mechanism of indirect bone formation by which cartilage transforms into bone during embryonic development, postnatal growth, fracture healing, and osteoarthritis. By building on my cross-disciplinary training, my laboratory aims to improve our mechanistic understanding endochondral ossification in order to develop clinically relevant systems to accelerate fracture repair.

What are you currently working on?
Active projects include:

1. Therapeutic acceleration of endochondral fracture healing though local and controlled release of nerve growth factor from bioinspired nanowires. (Collaborator: Drs Tejal Desai and Ted Miclau)

2. Role of Wnt signaling in cartilage to bone transformation (Collaborator: Dr. Ralph Marcucio)

3. Engineering the preferred ossification pathway for bone regeneration. (Collaborator: Drs. Kent Leach and Mark Lee)

4. Design and Validation of a Wnt Activating mRNA Therapeutic Platform (Collaborators: Drs Nicole Ehrhart, Bill Murphy, John Cooke)

5. Smart bone plates to measure endochondral fracture repair. (Collaborators: Drs Safa Herfat and Michelle Mahabaritz)

6. Validation of circulating collagen X biomarker as early indicator of fracture repair. (Collaborators: Drs Zach Working and Brian Johnstone)

7. Stem cell mediated regeneration of salivary glands using an acetylcholine mimetic encapsulated in an injectable alginate hydrogel. (Collaborators: Drs Sarah Knox and Eben Alsberg)

8. Decellularized tendon matrix to facilitate rotator cuff repair. (Collaborators: Dr. Peter Millet)

What has been the biggest challenge/issue for you lately in your research?
Seeking balance. I have a small lab and so many exciting projects with great collaborators.

What project(s) are you looking forward to in the near future?
All of them!

When not in the lab, what do you like to do for fun?
Living in Vail Colorado I try and spend time each week outside mountain biking, trail running, skiing (downhill and skate), or camping.

I also have two small kids (8 and 5) that are at a really fun age, a 2 year old fluffy black dog (newfoundland poodle), and love to cook (with wine as inspiration)!

What was the last book you read for fun? Would you recommend it?
Currently reading (ok – I lied, listening to on audibles) – Shantaram.

This book has been on my “to read” list for a while but one of my friends (Behram Dubash) recently got hired as a writer for Apple TV tuning the book into a TV series. I am trying to finish the book in advance of the TV series and it is fun to have someone to talk to about the book as I am “reading” it. I DO highly recommend the book – amazing writing and a story that weaves in so much philosophy on life.