Faculty Profile

Dr. Mia M. Thi, Ph.D.

Mia M. Thi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Instructor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Professional Interests

As a biomedical engineer, my research focuses mainly on mechanobiology or how physical forces and alterations in cell and tissue mechanical properties contribute to physiology, development and disease, especially diabetes. Major research projects include:

  1. Mechanism by which diabetes alters bone cell mechanosensing, signaling and transduction
  2. Bone and sensory nervous system
  3. Mechanism of osteocyte mechanotransduction
  4. Mechanosignaling in osteoarthritis
  5. Role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in bone mechanotransduction
  6. Role of junctional proteins in bone mechanotransduction
  7. Role of glycocalyx in endothelial mechanotransduction
  8. Interaction between purinergic receptors and gap junctions in diabetes

Training opportunities are available for students and both research and clinical fellows in my laboratory with respect to each of these project areas.

Selected Publications

  1. Cabahug-Zukerman P, Stout R, Majeska RJ, Thi MM, Spray DC, Weinbaum S, Schaffler MB. A Specialized β3 integrin-based mechanotransduction structure on osteocyte processes. J Orthop Res. 2017 Oct 31; PMID: 29087614.
  2. Lewis KL, Frikha-Benayed D, Louie J, Stephen S, Spray DC, Thi MM, Seref-Ferlengez Z, Majeska RJ, Weinbaum S, Schaffler MB. Effects of strain magnitude and loading frequency on osteocyte calcium signaling in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017 Oct 19; PMID: 29078317
  3. Seref-Ferlengez Z, Suadicani SO, Thi MM. A New Perspective on Mechanisms Governing Skeletal Complications in Type 1 Diabetes. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1383: 67-79, 2016. PMCID: PMC5118151
  4. Seref-Ferlengez Z, Maung S, Schaffler MB, Spray DC, Suadicani SO, Thi MM. P2X7R-Panx1 Complex Impairs Bone Mechanosignaling Under High Glucose Levels Associated with Type-1 Diabetes. PLOS ONE. 11(5):e0155107. eCollection 2016. PMCID: PMC4861344
  5. Cheung WY, Morgan S, Seref-Ferlengez Z, Basta-Pljakic J, Thi MM, Suadicani SO, Spray DC, Majeska RJ, Fritton JC and Schaffler MB. Pannexin-1 and P2X7-Receptor Are Required for Apoptotic Osteocytes in Fatigued Bone to Trigger RANKL Production in Neighboring Bystander Osteocytes. 31: 890-899, 2016. PMCID: PMC4915221
  6. Schneider JL, Villarroya J, Diaz-Carretero A, Patel B, Urbanska AM, Thi MM, Villarroya F, Santambrogio L, Cuervo AM. Loss of hepatic chaperone-mediated autophagy accelerates proteostasis failure in aging. Aging Cell. 14:249-264, 2015. PMCID: PMC4364837
  7. Negoro H, Urban-Maldonado M, Liou LS, Spray DC, Thi MM, Suadicani SO. Pannexin 1 channels play essential roles in urothelial mechanotransduction and intercellular signaling. PLOS ONE. 9(8):e106269. eCollection 2014. PMCID: PCM4149561
  8. Burke S, Fnu N, Thi MM, Hanani M, Scherer PE, Tanowitz HB, Spray DC. Adipocytes in both brown and white adipose tissue of adult mice are functionally connected via gap junctions: implications for Chagas disease. Microbes Infect, 16:893-901, 2014. PMCID: PMC4353925
  9. Thi MM, Suadicani SO, Schaffler MB, Weinbaum S, Spray DC. Mechanosensory responses of osteocytes to physiological forces occur along processes and not cell body and require αVβ3 Integrin. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 110:21012-21017, 2013. PMCID: PMC3876252
  10. Scharf B, Clement CC, Yodmuang S, Urbanska A, Suadicani SO, Aphkhazava D, Thi MM, Perino G, Hardin J, Cobelli N, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Santambrogio L. Age-related carbonylation of fibro-cartilage structural proteins drives tissue degenerative modification. Chem Biol. 20:922-934, 2013. PMCID: PMC3758909
  11. Spray DC,Hanstein R, Stout R, Suadicani SO, Thi MM. Gap junctions and Bystander effects: Good Samaritans and executioners. WIREs Membr Transp Signal, 2:1-15, 2013. PMCID: PMC3614363
  12. Thi MM, Islam S, Suadicani SO, Spray DC. Connexin43 and Pannexin 1 in Osteoblasts: Who is the “hemichannel”? J Membr Biol, 245:401-409, 2012. PMCID: PMC3427001
  13. Weinbaum S, Duan Y, Thi MM, You L. An integrative review of mechanotransduction in endothelial, epithelial (renal) and dendritic cells (osteocytes). Cell Mol Bioeng, 4:510-537, 2011. PMCID: PMC3748935
  14. Thi MM, Urban-Maldonado M, Spray DC, Suadicani SO. Characterization of hTERT-immortalized osteoblast cell lines generated from wildtype and connexin43-null mouse calvaria. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 299:C994-1006, 2010. PMCID: PMC2980299
  15. Thi MM, Suadicani SO, Spray DC. Fluid flow-induced soluble vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) isoforms regulate actin adaptation in osteoblasts. J Biol Chem, 285:30931-41, 2010. PMCID: PMC2945584.
  16. Hatakeyama N, Kojima T, Iba K, Murata M, Thi MM, Spray DC, Osanai M, Chiba H, Ishiai S, Yamashita T, Sawada N. IGF-I regulates tight junction protein claudin-1 during differentiation of osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells via a MAP-kinase pathway. Cell Tissue Res., 334:243-254, 2008. PMCID: PMC2692508
  17. Thi MM, Spray DC, Hanani M. Aquaporin-4 water channels in enteric neurons. J Neurosci Res, 86:448-456, 2008. PMCID: PMC2713861
  18. Thi MM, Iacobas DA, Iacobas S, Spray DC. Fluid shear stress up-regulates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor gene expression in osteoblasts. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1117:73-81, 2007
  19. Thi MM, Weinbaum S, Tarbell JM, Spray DC. The role of the glycocalyx in reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton under fluid shear stress: A ‘bumper-car’ model. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 101:16483-16488, 2004. PMCID: PMC534550
  20. Thi MM, Kojima T, Cowin SC, Weinbaum S, Spray DC.  Fluid shear stress remodels expression and function of junctional proteins in cultured bone cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 284:C389-403, 2003.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Rose F. Kennedy Center
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