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Professor and Acting Chairman
Assistant Dean, Preclinical Programs, Office of Medical Student Programs
Rush Medical College
1735 W. Harrison St.
Cohn Research Building
Ste. 518
Chicago, IL 60612

1735 W. Harrison St.
Cohn Research Building
Ste. 536
Chicago, IL 60612

(312) 942-4879
(312) 942-3053

Research Interests

Osteoarthritis research: Our laboratory focuses on cartilage degradation that occurs in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis using human articular cartilage from the knee and ankle joints of normal human donors obtained through the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network. There are not only biochemical differences between the two joints but also differences in gene expression and biomechanical parameters that help to define the differences between knee and ankle cartilage that may ultimately protect the ankle cartilage. In addition, in the ankle the underlying bone does not increase its density with damage to the cartilage as it does in the knee. Taken together, these data suggest that ankle is less responsive to catabolic stimulation and more responsive to anabolic stimulation than knee chondrocytes. This decreased responsiveness may, in part, help to explain the lower incidence of osteoarthritis in the ankle.

Peyronie's Disease research: A second interest is the study of changes in connective tissue components with Peyronie's Disease. This disease is both physically and psychologically devastating, causing deformity, pain and sexual dysfunction in males. The disease affects two to four percent of the male population, and its cause is unknown. The disease is characterized by patches or strands of dense, fibrous tissue (plaque) that surrounds the cavernous body of the penis. Other than surgical removal of the plaque formed in the disease process, there is no known reliable treatment currently available. The data from our study will serve as the foundation for a more extensive project designed to find a treatment for Peyronie's disease other than surgery. There has been relatively little basic science research done to determine the characteristics of the connective tissue components in Peyronie's plaque. It has been shown that transforming growth factor beta (TGFb), decorin, SMAD7 and collagenase are all upregulated in the plaque; they may therefore be in part responsible for the formation of the plaque. Future studies will be focused on the resident cells in the tunica albuginea and their response to exogeneous stimulation to block the effects of TGFb overstimulation.

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