November 11, 2016
Biophysical stimuli, particularly mechanical loading, play an important role in the growth, development and repair of musculoskeletal tissues, particularly bone. While a role for mechanical stimuli is recognized, the mechanisms of adaptation to mechanical inputs are not well understood from both the mechanics and signaling perspectives. We have developed several in vivo models of controlled mechanical loading as tools to examine mechanotransduction in bone and other musculoskeletal tissues. Our work examining in vivo musculoskeletal adaptation will be described focusing on increasing bone mass and the concomitant development of osteoarthritis in the joint. Our findings emphasize the importance of multi-tissue systemic approaches to examine musculoskeletal responses to mechanical stimuli.
Marjolein van der Meulen is the James M. and Marsha McCormick Chair of Biomedical Engineering and Swanson Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering and Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University. She is also appointed as a Senior Scientist at Hospital for Special Surgery Her research in orthopaedic biomechanics focuses on musculoskeletal mechanobiology and bone biomechanics. Marjolein received her S.B. from MIT and M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in mechanical engineering. Before joining the faculty at Cornell, she worked for three years as a biomedical engineer at the Rehabilitation R&D Center of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in Palo Alto, California. She joined the Cornell faculty as an assistant professor in 1996. She previously served as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering at Cornell. Over the course of her career she has served on numerous university, college and school committees. She is a fellow of AAAS, AIMBE and ASME.