Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia PA
Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2003
Chestnut Hill College Philadelphia PA
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology, 1994
I am part of a team of researchers utilizing adult mesenchymal bone marrow derived stem cells (MSCs) to generate three dimensional organotypic culture models of the developing limb and joint. These in vitro cultures consist of MSCs plated in high density micromasses and induced to undergo chondrogenesis and hypertrophy with the addition of TGFB3 and triiodothyronine (T3) respectively. The joint segmentation model consists of a high density micromass culture that is mechanically stimulated to replicate the processes of joint formation. Using immunohistochemistry and real time RT-PCR, we have shown that these cultures express markers of chondrogenesis such as Type II Collagen and aggrecan and markers of hypertrophy such as Type X Collagen and MMP13 in a manner similar to the developing limb. These cultures are the basis for developing a medium to high through put system to study the effects of known and putative teratogens on limb and joint development.