Ivo Kalajzic, M.D., Ph.D.Associate Professor of Reconstructive Sciences
Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development
Associate Professor, Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences
|Ph.D.||Split University School of Medicine||Basic Medical Sciences - Genetics|
|M.D.||Zagreb University School of Medicine||Medicine|
|Name of Award/Honor||Awarding Organization|
|Career Enhancement Award||American Society of Bone and Mineral Research|
|Harold Frost Young Investigator Award||American Society of Bone and Mineral Research|
|Young Investigator Award, Annual Meeting||American Society of Bone and Mineral Research|
|Fellowship Award||Children Brittle Bone Foundation|
|John Haddad Young Investigator Award||American Society of Bone and Mineral Research|
|Outstanding Presentation Award, Washington, DC||East Coast Connective Tissue Society Meeting|
|Michael Geisman Fellowship Award||Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation|
Osteocytes are terminally differentiated cells of the osteoblast lineage. It is well known that bone tissue has the capacity to alter its mass and structure in response to mechanical strain using osteocytes as mechanosensory cells. Identification of genes involved in these processes requires isolation of a pure population of osteocytes and a comparison to the gene expression profile to cells at other maturation stages of the osteoblast lineage. In this project we aim to evaluate the gene expression profile of an isolated osteocyte population and contrast its gene expression to osteoblasts as they transition into the osteocyte stage. The analysis of their gene expression profile provides important information for a better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate bone mass.
Myofibroblast/pericyte as an mesenchymal progenitor cell
Adult mesenchymal progenitor cells have enormous potential for use in reparative medicine. The easy access and isolation of bone marrow aspirate or liposuction collection have made these cells a prime target for studies of differentiation into various adult mesenchymal tissues for regenerative medicine purposes. To define a population of myofibroblasts/pericyte we are utilizing previously developed transgenic mice in which this cell type is identified by a smooth muscle ?-actin promoter GFP transgene expression (?SMAGFP). To define the differentiation ability of these cells, we are using osteoblast/adipocyte/chondrocyte specific promoters driving GFP that we have previously characterized. These transgenes activate at mature stages of the lineage differentiation and by combining complementary colors, we can test for the ability of isolated ?SMA+ cells to progress from a progenitor to fully mature bone, fat or cartilage.
Regenerative potential of periodontal progenitor cells
The process of tissue regeneration in craniofacial bone requires the identification of optimal progenitor cells, and the evaluation of their potential in clear models of new bone formation. The periodontal ligament (PDL) contains a progenitor population that can differentiate into osteoblasts, cementoblasts and a mature periodontal ligament cells. PDL cells are easily accessible at the time of tooth extraction, and following expansion and long-term storage; they could be used for bone regeneration or enhancement of bone in preparation for placement of dental implants. Any broad clinical utility requires exploring this source of progenitor cells, their true identity and definition of their progeny. Obstacles to these goals are the inability to identify and purify the progenitor cells from PDL, and the lack of the in vivo markers that can be used to confirm that progenitor cells can attain the state and functionality of terminally differentiated phenotypes. In addition an extensive comparison of osteogenic capacity between the mesenchymal progenitor cells derived from PDL or from adult bone marrow and adipose derived stromal cells has to be completed.
Not accepting lab rotation students at this time