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NIH T32 Training Grant in Joint Health

The NIH T32 Training Grant in Joint Health supports post-doctoral fellowships and short-term medical student research. The grant is directed by Rick Sumner, PhD and co-directed by Markus Wimmer, PhD and Anne-Marie Malfait, MD, PhD.



Three people walking down a corridor

This multi-disciplinary post-doctoral training program in musculoskeletal biology emphasizes research training in joint health, encompassing five major programmatic areas: osteoarthritis and cartilage, total joint replacement, bone disease and regeneration, spine degeneration and small molecule therapeutics. The program supports pre-doctoral PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and provides 3-month research experiences for medical students. For the post-doctoral positions, we encourage candidates with medical, dental or veterinary doctorates to apply in addition to those with PhD’s.

Training takes place in the laboratories of NIH funded faculty in three basic science departments (Anatomy & Cell Biology, Microbial Pathogens & Immunology, and Physiology & Biophysics) and four clinical departments (Internal MedicineOrthopedic Surgery, Pediatrics and the RUSH Alzheimer’s Disease Center). The faculty are internationally respected scientists and physician-scientists devoted to musculoskeletal research, with a special focus on osteoarthritis (including pain), cartilage and bone biology, total joint replacement, spine degeneration and muscle physiology. Trainees have many resources available including the T32/P30 Joint Seminar Series, which features internationally renowned scholars.

After completing our program, post-doctoral trainees are better positioned to becoming independent, team-oriented, principal investigators and doctoral graduates are well-suited for their next step, be it a post-doctoral fellowship or position in industry. Short-term medical student trainees are better positioned for seeking residencies.

Personal statements from trainees


Preceptor Research Interest
Fill, Michael, PhD
Intracellular Ca signaling and arrhythmias
Hallab, Nadim James, PhD
Immune responses to implant wear debris; implant debris analyses
Jacobs, Joshua, MD
Biocompatibility of implant materials; joint replacement
Lundberg, Hannah, PhD
Computational modeling of human joint biomechanics
Malfait, Anne-Marie, MD, PhD
OA and pain
Martin, John, PhD
Spine degeneration, regeneration and function
Miller, Rachel, PhD
Osteoarthritis, pain, biomechanics
Pourzal, Robin, PhD
Implant materials
Pratap, Jitesh, PhD
Osteoblast differentiation and cancer cell survival in the bone microenvironment
Ross, Ryan, PhD
PhD Bone quality, hormonal role of the skeleton
Samartzis, Dino, PhD
Spine degeneration and pain
Shafikhani, Sasha, PhD
Wound healing; infection; innate immunity; cancer
Spagnoli, Anna, MD
Bone repair
Sumner, D. Rick, PhD
Bone regeneration, implant fixation
Wimmer, Markus, PhD
Tribology, motion analysis, cartilage, joint replacement


Co-Preceptor Research Interest
Al-Harthi, Lena, PhD
HIV and HIV latency
Barker, Edward, PhD
HIV innate immunity
Buchman, Aron, MD
Neurobiology underlying age-related cognitive and motor decline
Inoue, Nozomu, MD, PhD
Spine biomechanics
Keshavarzian, Ali, MD
Gut microbiome and permeability
Ko, Frank, PhD
Bone regeneration
Maki, Carl, PhD
Cancer therapy resistance
Patel, Aloka, MD
Nutrition and growth of preterm infants
Plaas, Anna, PhD
Connective tissue pathobiology
Schneider, Jeffrey, PhD
Infection response, HIV and cART
Yanke, Adam, MD, PhD
Cartilage regeneration and repair


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