Virginia Tech™home

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology in the Development of New Arthritis Therapies

Kevin Granata Memorial Lecture

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

2:30pm - 3:45pm

310 Kelly Hall, Virginia Tech Campus

Farshid Guilak

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Washington University in St. Louis 


Osteoarthritis is a painful and debilitating disease of the joints that is characterized by progressive degeneration of the articular cartilage. Using a hierarchical approach, we have identified specific mechanobiologic signaling pathways that regulate cartilage physiology, pathology, and regeneration. These pathways provide novel pharmacologic targets for the modification of cartilage disease and repair. Additionally, our studies have focused on stem-cell based approaches for repairing cartilage damage. Using a combination of principles of synthetic biology and genome engineering, we have rewired cellular gene circuits to allow creation of a unique, custom-designed cell type that can sense and respond to its biochemical environment in a pre-programmed way to developed engineered tissues with the ability for tunable, inducible, or auto-regulated biological responses.


Dr. Guilak is the Mildred Simon Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. He serves as the Director of Research for the St. Louis Shriners Hospital and co-director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine. His laboratory studies the role of biomechanical factors in regulating musculoskeletal biology, using interdisciplinary approaches to investigate biomechanical, molecular, and genetic factors in osteoarthritis and to develop new regenerative therapies. He has published over 330 journal articles and co-edited four books. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biomechanics, and he has won numerous national and international awards for research and mentorship.