Melissa A. Kacena, PhD
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
FH 115 ORTS
Titles & Appointments
- Adjunct Associate Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology
- Adjunct Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology
The overall research goal of Dr. Kacena's laboratory is to improve the understanding of the interaction of the bone and hematopoietic systems, thereby potentially improving the treatment of metabolic bone disease, hematopoietic disorders, and fracture healing. To achieve this goal, her research program focuses in five areas: 1) The role of megakaryocytes, megakaryocyte growth factors and their receptors in bone homeostasis; 2) Osteoblasts and the hematopoietic stem cell niche; 3) Regulators of osteosarcoma tumor growth; 4) Translational/clinical studies examining the genetic regulation of skeletal homeostasis; and 5) The molecular mechanisms underlying bone repair/fracture healing. Trainees coming through the Kacena lab may learn molecular and cellular bone biology techniques and/or fracture healing models. Trainees will be trained in many techniques including cell culture, including molecular (e.g., RNA extraction, qPCR, western blotting, serum/media ELISAs), radiographic (e.g., DEXA, pQCT, microCT, planar radiography), histologic (e.g., thin and thick sectioning, staining, IHC, fluorochrome histomorphometry), and biomechanical (e.g., whole bone mechanical properties).