Osteoarthritis (OA) is among the most prevalent chronic human health disorders and the most common form of arthritis. Specific mechanisms associated with the joint destruction during OA are largely unknown. Due to the lack of biomarkers, it is impossible to identify patients exhibiting early stages of OA, leading to severe joint destruction. Furthermore, due to poor understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms, no approved disease-modifying therapies to treat OA exist. Therefore, early detection and early intervention is critical to restore joint functions.
My translational research program is directed towards:
(1) Understanding the complex cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with joint destruction during osteoarthritis;
(2) Identifying reliable biomarkers for early identification of patients with osteoarthritis to enable early intervention using our large-scale OA biobank (over 150,000 specimens);
(3) Identifying novel therapeutic targets to stop/delay osteoarthritis and restore joint function;
(4) Understanding key endogenous mechanisms associated with fibrosis during osteoarthritis and connective tissue diseases.