Alan Grodzinsky, ScD, Professor of Biological, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, MIT and team are studying tissue from NDRI donors to better understand the painful, chronic condition that destroys cartilage, the cushion between bones, and results in painful friction. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common age-related diseases, affecting as many as 30 million Americans.
Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr, MD, the inaugural Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Science and Vice Chancellor for Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers University, previously served as the Director of the Airways Biology Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. His interests include the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate airway smooth muscle cell growth and the immunobiology of airway smooth muscle. Consequences of increases in airway smooth muscle growth promote the development of irreversible airflow obstruction and airway remodeling seen in patients with chronic severe asthma. Dr. Panettieri’s lab also focuses on cytosolic signaling pathways that mediate gene expression and alter myocyte growth.
Dr. Polyak is investigating how cellular and molecular changes that occur in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)—a non-invasive subtype of breast cancer—allow cancer cells to become invasive. Her work may inform the development of new immunotherapy drugs and reveal biomarkers that could be used to identify which DCIS may progress to invasive disease. She and her team will continue to explore why pre-invasive tumors progress in some cases and what role the immune system plays in this process.