Penn Medicine
Help | Search | Site Map | Contact   
faculty photo

Lachlan James Smith, Ph.D.

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

Contact information
McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
378A Stemmler Hall
3450 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-2169
Fax: 215-573-2133
Graduate Group Affiliations
B.E. (Mechatronic Engineering)
University of Adelaide, 2001.
Ph.D. (Pathology)
University of Adelaide, 2008.
Post-Graduate Training
Postdoctoral Fellow in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, 2008-2011.
Research Associate in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2013.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

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

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.

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.

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 In press, 2023.

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.

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 In press, 2023.

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.

Tang SN, Bonilla AF, Chahine NO, Colbath AC, Easley JT, Grad S, Haglund L, Le Maitre CL, Leung VY, McCoy AM, Purmessur D, Tang SY, Zeiter S, Smith LJ: Controversies in Spine Research: Organ Culture versus In Vivo Models for Studies of the Intervertebral Disc. JOR Spine 5(4): e1235, Dec 2022.

Lau YK, Peck SH, Arginteanu T, Wu M, Lin M, Shore EM, Klein PS, Casal ML, Smith LJ: Effects of Lithium Administration on Vertebral Bone Disease in Mucopolysaccharidosis I Dogs. Bone 154: 11623, Jan 2022.

back to top
Last updated: 03/23/2023
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
© The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Site best viewed with a supported browser.
SOM Home International Programs Penn Alumni Clinical Trials Centers and Institutes Departments Faculty Research Education Administration