Photo of Caroline N. Dealy, Ph.D.

Caroline N. Dealy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development
Department of Reconstructive Sciences
Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryDirector
Skeletal, Craniofacial and Oral Biology Graduate Program
Academic Office Location:
Department of Reconstructive Sciences
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3705
Phone: 860-679-1193
Fax: 860-679-2910
Website(s): Dealy lab page (Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development)
Skeletal, Craniofacial & Oral Biology Graduate Program
Institute for Regenerative Engineering
Genetics & Developmental Biology Graduate Program
UConn-TIP Bioscience & STEM Summer Research Intern Program
Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
Ph.D.University of ConnecticutDevelopmental Biology
B.S.University of New HampshireAnimal Sciences

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
2012 Finalist, Connecticut Women of Innovation Award In Entrepreneurial Innovation and LeadershipConnecticut Technology Council
Basil O’Connor Research Scholar Award: 1993-1996 March of Dimes Foundation
New Investigator Award: 1992-1995 Donaghue Medical Research Foundation
Eli Lilly Award Eli Lilly Corporation and the American Teratology Society
James G. Wilson Award for Research Excellence American Teratology Society
Dr. Dealy is committed to scientific training and mentoring at all levels. She is the director of the Skeletal, Craniofacial and Oral Biology Ph.D. Graduate Program, and is a member of the Genetics and Developmental Biology Graduate Program. She is a frequent course lecturer and director of the graduate courses “Skeletal Biology”, “Tool Kit for Scientific Communication" and "Integrating Biotechnology in Clinical Dentistry". She is the founder and director of the UConn-TIP Bioscience & STEM Summer Research Intern Program, which provides mentored research internships for University of Connecticut students in University biotechnology companies. She has also developed a scientific engagement project for the K-12 domain.
The overall goals of Dr. Dealy’s research are to understand the molecular and cellular signals controlling development of the vertebrate limb and differentiation of the limb skeletal elements; and to harness this information to assist in development of novel regenerative approaches for lost or damaged skeletal tissue. Dr. Dealy’s research includes identification and mechanistic study of the genes and signals that control cartilage and joint differentiation and homeostasis, and exploring the potential for human stem cells for repair and regeneration of limb tissue including articular cartilage. These studies are designed to provide insight into the mechanisms and potential treatments for debilitating human conditions including osteoarthritis, congenital limb malformation, traumatic limb loss, and chondrodysplasia.

Molecular regulation of limb and skeletal development Signals provided by growth factors and extracellular matrix molecules are critical for the development and differentiation of limb skeletal elements. Dr. Dealy’s research program is investigating the roles of the EGFR/ErbB signaling network, and the matrix macromolecule hyaluronan, in limb and skeletal development. These studies have revealed novel functions for these signals in limb patterning, chondrogenic differentiation, and joint formation. Dr. Dealy is continuing to investigate the molecular mechanisms whereby EGFR/ErbB signaling and hyaluronan regulate cartilage and joint development, and is also investigating roles for these signals in maintenance of articular cartilage homeostasis, and in regeneration of limb tissue lost due to injury.

Use of human stem cells for cartilage repair and regeneration Exciting potential exists for the use of human stem cells for the repair and regeneration of cartilage or limb tissue lost due to age, disease or injury. Dr. Dealy’s research program is investigating the potential for chondrogenic cells derived from human stem cells to repair damaged cartilage and limb tissue in vivo. These studies utilize human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which are somatic cells re-programmed to a pluripotent state, which have been directed to undergo differentiation into the chondrogenic lineage. Dr. Dealy is testing the ability of the stem cell-derived chondrogenic cells to repair damaged articular cartilage in the joints of osteoarthritic mice, and ongoing work will investigate the potential for stem cell-derived skeletal progenitors in restoring limb tissue lost to traumatic injury. Dr. Dealy is also leading a joint effort between the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut biotechnology startup Chondrogenics, Inc. to develop the potential of human stem-cell derived chondrogenic cells as a future therapy for osteoarthritis.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Spring '15


Lab Rotation Projects

Ongoing projects include:


• Regulation of articular cartilage differentiation and homeostasis by matrix and growth factors

• Genetic control of skeletal development and regeneration

• Stem cells as models for cartilage disease

• Stem cells for repair or regeneration of cartilage or limb tissue

Journal Articles

Conference Papers

Reviews

  • The potential of human embryonic stem cell for articular cartilage repair and osteoarthritis treatment
    Fisher M, Ferrari D, Li Y, Shepard JB, Patterson S, Anderson N, Dealy CN Rheumatology Current Research 2012 Jan;((S3)):
Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Balancing Articular Cartilage Homeostasis in Joint Health and AgingTalkUConn-Jackson Conference on Aging2014Storrs, CT
Developing a Therapy for Osteoarthritic Cartilage Damage using hESC-derived Chondrogenic CellsTalkTherapeutics Discovery Symposium2013Boston, MA
The Future of Stem CellsOtherColin McEnroe Show, National Public Radio2013Hartford, CT
Developmental, Molecular and Cellular Strategies in Cartilage RepairTalkLehigh University Dept of Biology2013Bethlehem PA
Opportunity at the Interface of Academics and BiotechnologyTalkUCHC School of Dental Medicine Dean’s Seminar2012UConn Health Center, Farmington, CT
Genetic and Cellular Strategies in Cartilage DiseaseTalk2011 Howard Hughes Lecture Series2011Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
Stem Cells for Profit?Panel DiscussionStemConn 20112011Farmington, CT