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

Lachlan James Smith, Ph.D.

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

Contact information
McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
111A Stemmler Hall
3450 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-898-8653
Fax: 215-573-2133
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

Riester SM, Lin Y, Wang W, Cong L, Ali AM, Peck SH, Smith LJ, Currier B, Clark M, Huddleston P, Krauss W, Yaszemski MJ, Morrey ME, Abdel MP, Bydon M, Qu W, Larson AN, Wijnen AJ, Nassr A: RNA sequencing identifies gene regulatory networks controlling extracellular matrix synthesis in intervertebral disk tissues. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 36(5): 1356-1369, May 2018.

Piazza M, Sharma N, Osiemo B, McClintock S, Missimer E, Gardiner D, Maloney EM, Callahan D, Smith, LJ, Welch WC, Schuster JM, Grady MS, Malhotra NR: Initial Assessment of the Risk Assessment and Prediction Tool in a Heterogeneous Neurosurgical Population. Neurosurgery May 2018 Notes: [EPUB AHEAD OF PRINT] doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyy197.

Piazza M, Peck SH, Gullbrand SE, Bendigo JR, Zhang Y, Smith HE, Malhotra NR, Smith LJ: Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging correlates with histological grade in a percutaneous needle injury mouse model of disc degeneration Journal of Orthopaedic Research Apr 2018 Notes: [EPUB Ahead of Print]

Nayak NR, Piazza M, Milby A, Thawani JP, Smith LJ, Stein SC, Malhotra NR: Surgical Approaches for the Treatment of Multilevel Cervical Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament: Results of a Decision Analysis. World Neurosurgery 112: e375-e384, Apr 2018.

Gullbrand SE, Kim DH, Bonnevie E, Ashinsky BG, Smith LJ, Elliott DM, Mauck RL, Smith HE: Towards the Scale Up of Tissue Engineered Intervertebral Discs for Clinical Application. Acta Biomaterialia 70: 154-164, Apr 2018.

Tian Z, Yasen M, Ma X, Mauck RL, Qin L, Shofer FS, Smith LJ, Pacifici M, Enomoto-Iwamoto M, Zhang Y: Intervertebral Disc Degeneration in a Percutaneous Mouse Tail Injury Model. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 97(3): 170-177, Mar 2018.

Gullbrand SE, Smith LJ, Smith HE, Mauck RL: Promise, Progress, and Problems in Whole Disc Tissue Engineering. JOR Spine In press, 2018.

Casal ML, Lin G, Peck SH, Smith LJ: Long-Term Natural History Study of Dogs with Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I. 15th International Symposium on MPS and Related Diseases 2018 Notes: Poster.

Smith LJ, Peck SH, Lin G, Lau AYK, Bagel JH, O'Donnell P, Fitzgerald CA, Molony C, Malhotra NR, Casal ML: Effects of enzyme replacement therapy on skeletal disease in mucopolysaccharidosis VII dogs: preliminary findings. 15th International Symposium on MPS and Related Diseases 2018 Notes: Poster.

Peck SH, Lau YKA, Bendigo JR, Lin M, Arginteanu T, Bagel JH, O’Donnell P, Malhotra NR, Klein PS, Shore EM, Casal ML, Smith LJ: Lithium-mediated effects on vertebral bone formation in mucopolysaccharidosis I dogs during postnatal growth. American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada 2018 Notes: Poster.

back to top
Last updated: 08/16/2018
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
© The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Site best viewed with Mozilla, NN, IE, or Safari.
SOM Home International Programs Penn Alumni Clinical Trials Centers and Institutes Departments Faculty Research Education Administration