Researcher, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Miho Tanaka, MD
Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
Harnessing single cell RNA-sequencing technology for tendon regenerative medicine strategies
Traumatic injuries to tendons are devastating and impact a patient’s mobility and quality of life. Current treatment options are limited to repair or reconstruction of the injured structure to restore joint function. However, complete integration of surgical repair and restoration of full function can be clinically challenging as tendon tissues are not capable of complete regeneration and are often limited by degeneration that is associated with the original injury.
Tendon regenerative medicine strategies aim to target endogenous stem or progenitor cells to improve repair outcomes or use isolated progenitor cells for tissue engineering approaches to create a better engineered tissue with optimal healing potential. For her Stepping Strong project, Galloway will apply single cell RNA-sequencing technology to establish a pipeline for the isolation of tendon progenitors and to identify pathways that could be targeted for their activation. Successful completion of these goals would provide a framework for new innovative therapies for tendon and ligament injuries.
Jenna Galloway, PhD, is an associate professor in the Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She is the co-leader of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s musculoskeletal disease program. She received her Ph. in genetics from Harvard University and her postdoctoral work was performed in the lab of Dr. Clifford Tabin in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Currently, her laboratory uses zebrafish, mouse, and stem cell model systems to understand how tendons and ligaments form, organize, and regenerate with the ultimate goal of applying this knowledge toward the development of improved therapies for tendon and ligament injuries.