Lachlan James Smith, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Scientist, WOC, Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Co-Director, Histology Core, Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
378A Stemmler Hall
3450 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-2169
Fax: 215-573-2133
B.E. (Mechatronic Engineering)
University of Adelaide, 2001.
Ph.D. (Pathology)
University of Adelaide, 2008.
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Description of Research Expertise

The focus of my 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.

Selected Publications

Arginteanu T, Gallagher RS, Borja AJ, Glauser G, Smith LJ, Pasha S, DeTurck D, Malhotra NR : Quantifying a novel three-dimensional marker of scoliosis. Spine Deformity In press, Sep 2023.

Li Z, Smith LJ, Li B : Cell-based Therapeutics for Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 11: 1250266, July 2023.

Martin JT, Asimakopoulos D, Hornung AL, Toro SJ, Le Maitre CL, Chahine NO, Fields AJ, Gawri R, Giers MB, Smith LJ, Tang SY, Zehra U, Haglund LA, Samartzis D : Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination of Musculoskeletal Researchers and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: an International Study. European Spine Journal 32(6): 1861-1875, Jun 2023.

Gawri R, Lau YK, Lin G, Shetye SS, Zhang C, Jiang Z, Abdoun K, Scanzello CR, Jo SY, Mai W, Dodge GR, Casal ML, Smith LJ: Dose-Dependent Effects of Enzyme Replacement Therapy on Skeletal Disease Progression in Mucopolysaccharidosis VII Dogs. Molecular Therapy - Methods and Clinical Development 28: 12-26, Mar 2023.

Zhang C, Lau YK, Gawri G, Spruce L, Fazelinia H, Jiang Z, Scanzello CR, Dodge GR, Casal ML, Smith LJ: Proteomics identifies novel biomarkers of synovial joint disease in a canine model of mucopolysaccharidosis I. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 138(2): 107371, Feb 2023.

Rajagopal K, Schaer TP, Zhang C, Meadows KD, Hilliard R, O'Donnell JC, Dodge GR, Petrov D, Elliott DM, Mauck RL, Smith LJ, Malhotra NR: Physiological Measurement of Nucleus Pulposus Oxygen, Glucose, and Lactate in a Large Animal Model of Disc Degeneration: Preliminary Findings. 69th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Dallas, USA 2023 Notes: Poster.

Rajagopal K, Swingle KL, Jiang J, Patel S, Dodge GR, Volk SW, Casal ML, Mitchell MJ, Smith LJ: Optimization of Lipid Nanoparticles for Intra-Articular Delivery of Therapeutic mRNA in Mucopolysaccharidosis VII. 69th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Dallas, USA 2023 Notes: Poster.

Zhang C, Schaer TP, Dodge GR, Malhotra NR, Mauck RL, Smith LJ: Effects of Organ Culture and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Delivery on Nucleus Pulposus Cell Extracellular Matrix Gene Expression and Cell Cycle Progression. 69th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Dallas, USA 2023 Notes: Podium.

Zhang C, Lau YK, Qin L, Schaer TP, Dodge GR, Mauck RL, Malhotra NR, Smith LJ: CD-9 as a Novel Marker of Healthy Late-Stage Nucleus Pulposus Cells. 69th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Dallas, USA 2023 Notes: Poster.

Kim DH, Zhang C, Dodge GR, Malhotra NR, Smith LJ, Mauck RL: Effects of Oxygen Tension and Microenvironmental Stiffness on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells. 69th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Dallas, USA 2023 Notes: Poster.

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Last updated: 09/24/2023
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