Hui (Herb) Sun, Ph.D.
Dr. Sun and Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
Develop novel and effective preventive and therapeutic strategies for musculoskeletal disorders
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Elucidate mechanisms underlying how stem cells behave and identify novel therapeutic targets
- Develop effective, patient/surgeon-friendly gene and cell therapy strategies
- Bridge research findings from bench to bedside
- Most common joint disease and a leading cause of adult disability
- Mechanisms of disease development not well understood
- No effective treatment options for prevention or arrest
- Decreased expression of transcriptional regulator CITED2 protein associated with cartilage breakdown and matrix loss, as indicated by Safranin O, in human OA
- Experimental suppression of CITED2 causes OA-like cartilage breakdown, suggesting reduced expression of CITED2 protein contributes to OA disease initiation and progression
- Experimental restoration of CITED2 slows the development of cartilage degradation in a mouse model of OA (DMM)
Tendon Stem Cell Aging and Regeneration
- Tendons become more susceptible to injury and less able to heal with age
- This project explores how age-related decline in tendon integrity may be the result of changes in the stem cells that are responsible for maintaining these tissues
- Research will gain insights into the basis for tendon disorders that could lead to new strategies for aged tendon rejuvenation, injury repair and regeneration.
- Tendon stem cell number and function decline with age, which is associated with age-related injury.
- Reduced levels of CITED2 protein is responsible for age-related stem cell decline. Low levels of CITED2 causes reduction in stem cell survival marker (Bmi1) and increased cell proliferation inhibitors (p16Ink4a, p14Arf).
Future Directions and Perspectives
- Develop pharmacological agents for OA, tendinopathy, and tendon injuries
- Determine role of Low Energy Focused Ultrasound (LOFU) on enhancing stem cell ability of tissue repair and regeneration
- Novel approach to prevent skeletal cancer recurrence and metastasis by targeting cancer stem cells
- Daniel Leong, 1st Place, Parviz Lalezari Award for Research Excellence: Montefiore Medical Center Young Investigator Symposium (2012)
- Leon An, Semi-finalist: The Siemans Competition in Math, Science, and Technology (2012)
- Daniel Leong, Webster Jee Young Investigator Award: International Chinese Musculoskeletal Tissue Society Annual Meeting (2013)
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