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Lachlan James Smith, Ph.D.

Associate 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
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.
Post-Graduate Training
Postdoctoral Fellow in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, 2008-2011.
Research Associate in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2013.
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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

Jiang Z, Lau YK, Wu M, Casal ML, Smith LJ: Ultrastructural Analysis of Different Skeletal Cell Types in Mucopolysaccharidosis Dogs at the Onset of Postnatal Growth. Journal of Anatomy 238(2): 416-425, 2021.

Gawri R, Lau YK, Dodge GR, Scanzello CR, Jo S, Zhang C, Mai W, Casal ML, Smith LJ: High Dose Enzyme Replacement Therapy Attenuates Joint Disease Progression and Preserves Mobility in Mucopolysaccharidosis VII Dogs. 67th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Virtual, USA 2021 Notes: Podium.

Lee NN, Salzer E, Bonilla AF, Bach FC, Cook JL, Gazit Z, Grad S, Ito K, Smith LJ, Vernengo A, Wilke HJ, Engiles JB, Tryfonidou MA: A Comprehensive Toolbox for Large Animal Studies of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. JOR Spine In press, 2021.

Jiang Z, Johnson CJ, Nykanen O, Nissi M, Lau YK, Wu M, Casal ML, Smith LJ: Epiphyseal Cartilage Canal Architecture and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Mucopolysaccharidosis VII Dogs at the Onset of Postnatal Growth. Connective Tissue Research In press, 2021.

Peck SH, Lau YK, Kang JL, Lin M, Arginteanu T, Matalon DR, Bendigo JR, O’Donnell P, Haskins ME, Casal ML, Smith LJ : Progression of Vertebral Bone Disease in Mucopolysaccharidosis VII Dogs from Birth to Skeletal Maturity. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism In press, 2021.

Zhang C, Gullbrand SE, Schaer TP, Boorman S, Chen W, Elliott DM, Dodge GR, Mauck RL, Malhotra NR, Smith LJ: Combined Hydrogel and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Moderate Severity Disc Degeneration in Goats. Tissue Engineering: Part A 27(1-2): 117-128, 2021.

Smith LJ, Iatridis JC, Dahia CL: Advancing Basic and Preclinical Spine Research: Highlights from the Fifth ORS PSRS International Spine Research Symposium. JOR Spine In press, 2020.

Jiang Z, Byers S, Casal ML, Smith LJ: Failures of Endochondral Ossification in the Mucopolysaccharidoses. Current Osteoporosis Reports 18(6): 759-773, 2020.

Gullbrand SE, Ashinsky BG, Bonnevie ED, Kim DH, Smith LJ, Elliott DM, Schaer TP, Smith HE, Mauck RL: Engineered Total Disc Replacements in a Large Animal Model Recapitulate Native Disc Structure and Function. 66th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Phoenix, USA 2020.

Zhang C, Schaer TP, Gullbrand SE, Jiang Z, Lau YK, Elliott DM, Dodge GR, Mauck RL, Malhotra NR, Smith LJ: Inflammatory Cytokine and Catabolic Enzyme Expression in a Goat Model of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. 66th Annual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, Phoenix, USA 2020.

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Last updated: 09/17/2021
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