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Basic and Translational Research

The Research Division and its faculty members are recognized internationally as leading innovators in musculoskeletal science and training. Our program is consistently ranked as one of the top five National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded musculoskeletal programs within the United States, and our modern training programs are seen as the vanguard for producing the next generation of musculoskeletal scientists.

Our investigators conduct basic and translational research in topics that represent the great diversity of problems that impact the musculoskeletal system. Focus areas include integrative musculoskeletal biology, stem cells and regenerative medicine, skeletal neurobiology, bone metastasis and clinical outcomes.

Our Basic and Translational Researchers

Photo of Dr. Thomas M. Brushart, M.D.

Brushart, Thomas M., M.D.

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Professor of Neurology
Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Brushart Professor of Hand Surgery
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Arthritis of the Hand, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, Dupuytren's Contracture, Hand Conditions, Hand Surgery, Inclusion Body Myositis, Microsurgical Nerve Repair, Nerve Compression, Nerve Injury, Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedics, Perinatal Brachial Plexus Injury, Peripheral Nerve Disorders, Ulnar Neuropathy
Research Interests: Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
Photo of Dr. Xu Cao, Ph.D.

Cao, Xu, Ph.D.

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Lee Riley Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Center for Musculoskeletal Research
Research Interests: Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Bone remodeling, Mesenchymal stem cells
Photo of Dr. Thomas Landes Clemens, Ph.D.

Clemens, Thomas Landes, Ph.D.

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Lewis Cass Spencer Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director of Research, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Senior Research Career Scientist, Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center
Research Interests: Skeletal repair, Skeletal development, Osteogenesis, Musculoskeletal biology
Photo of Dr. Lynne C. Jones, M.S., Ph.D.

Jones, Lynne C., M.S., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Center for Osteonecrosis Research and Education
Director of Resident Research
Director, Hip & Knee Surgery Research
Research Interests: Osteonecrosis, Total Joint Replacement, Bone Graft and Bone Graft Substitutes, Animal models of musculoskeletal disease
Photo of Dr. Masanobu Komatsu, Ph.D.

Komatsu, Masanobu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Interests: Normalization of pathologically remodeling/regenerating blood vessels
Photo of Dr. Ryan Christopher Riddle, Ph.D.

Riddle, Ryan Christopher, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Interests: Musculoskeletal development, Skeletal metabolism, Wnt signaling
Photo of Dr. Richard Leroy Skolasky, Jr., M.A., Sc.D.

Skolasky, Richard Leroy, M.A., Sc.D. Jr.

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Director, Spine Outcomes Research Center
Research Interests: Spine biomechanics, Psycho-social determinates of health, Health disparities, Health services research, Functional outcomes of spine surgery
Photo of Dr. Mei Wan, Ph.D.

Wan, Mei, Ph.D.

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Interests: parathyroid hormone, LRP6, bone marrow mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells, tissue repair/remodeling, stem cell mobilization
Photo of Dr. Feng-Quan Zhou, Ph.D.

Zhou, Feng-Quan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Research Interests: Live cell imaging of signal transduction and cytoskeletal reorganization in neurons, Epigenetic regulation of neuronal morphogenesis during development and regeneration, Promoting axon regeneration after spinal cord or brain injuries, GSK3 signaling in neural development

Our Labs

  • Clemens Lab

    Research in the Clemens Lab focuses on identification of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate bone formation and repair. Currently, we are studying the role of sensory nerves in bone and the coupling of bone cell metabolic activity to the sensory nerves' development and function.

    The skeleton is one of the most important structures in our bodies. Bones allow us to stand, walk and move from one place to another, and they serve as protectors of our vital organs. With aging, our skeleton both loses its bone mineral and the structure (micro-architecture). The fine trabecular bone is organized into plates and rods, and these structures develop cracks and discontinuity. As we age, bone is lost and its structure compromised. This degradation of our bone structure — osteoporosis — is a global health problem. Thomas Clemens, M.D. is the director of the Clemens lab. He is the Lewis Cass Spencer professor of orthopaedic surgery and the vice chair for research in the Department of... Orthopaedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins. view more

  • Spine Outcomes Research Center

    The Spine Outcomes Research Center is a multidisciplinary group committed to improving patient outcomes and applying high-quality and purposeful research to professional practice. The organization values collegial interaction and strong scientific principles.

  • Zhou Lab

    In the Zhou Lab, the overall goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying development of the mammalian nervous system. Specifically, we are interested in understanding how neurons generate their complex morphology and form proper circuitries during development and how neurons regenerate to restore connections after brain or spinal cord injuries.