Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory

Smith/Malhotra Laboratory

Welcome to the Translational Spine Research Laboratory

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The focus of our research program is the pathophysiology and treatment of degenerative and developmental disorders affecting the spine, particularly those affecting the intervertebral discs and vertebral bones. The scope of our research includes basic mechanistic studies, translational studies in animal models, and clinical studies in human patients. We use cutting edge techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry and bioengineering, coupled with novel in vitro model systems to study disease mechanisms. Our research in the translational space bridges the fields of tissue engineering, biomaterials, drug delivery and stem cells, and is focused on arresting disease progression, restoring spine function and potentiating long term tissue regeneration. We use novel, naturally occurring and inducible large and small animal models to study disease etiology and evaluate therapeutics. Our multidisciplinary team includes biologists, bioengineers, clinicians and veterinarians. Our research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the University of Pennsylvania and numerous private foundations and benefactors. Details on specific projects can be found by following the links below.