Dr. Pavalko’s laboratory studies the cellular mechanisms controlling bone response to mechanical loading. His lab’s focus is on the role of integrin-medicated signaling through focal adhesions in the regulation of fluid flow-induced mechanical stimulation of osteoblasts and osteocytes. The cellular and molecular pathways that medicate the anabolic response of osteoblasts and osteocytes to mechanical loading are important for understanding how mechanical loading alters gene expression to affect skeletal remodeling. Trainees in the Pavalko lab will use in vitro bone cell culture models and in vivoanimal loading models to study the role of integrins, the cytoskeleton, tyrosine kinases, scaffolding proteins and other signal transduction mediators to interact with transcriptional regulators to control expression and mechanically-induced bone genes. Trainees will work with osteoblasts and osteocytes cell lines, primary cells isolated from genetically engineered mice, in vitro fluid shear apparatus and skeletal loading of mice to study mechanisms regulating gene expression by qRT-PCR, immunoblotting, fluorescence microscopy and histomorphometry.
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