Elizabeth W. Bradley, Ph.D., studies diseases affecting the skeletal system, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (OA), and researches how associated tissues (such as bone and cartilage) are generated.
Dr. Bradley's laboratory utilizes a combination of genetics, cell and molecular biology, and biochemistry. She also employs a variety of preclinical models of disease such as surgical induction of joint instability and cortical bone defects to recapitulate disease processes. Through these combined approaches, Dr. Bradley hopes to identify new targets to slow degeneration and promote regeneration of skeletal tissues.
- Phosphatases in the skeletal system. Dr. Bradley and colleagues study how anabolic signaling is dampened by phosphatases, a class of molecular switches, and how this affects skeletal generation, cartilage degeneration and bone resorption. Through this work, Dr. Bradley aims to identify novel therapeutic targets.
- Epigenetic control of skeletal size and robustness. Dr. Bradley's lab studies how epigenetic factors including histone deacetylases (Hdacs) regulate limb growth and acquisition of optimal bone geometry.
- Histone deacetylases and bone density. Dr. Bradley aims to understand why Hdacs are required to maintain bone density during aging.
Significance to patient care
Musculoskeletal problems are one of the leading reasons for physician visits each year. As such, diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis impart a major social and economic burden and are associated with significant patient morbidity and mortality. This burden will grow as the population ages, unless treatment modalities are expanded. The ultimate goal of Dr. Bradley's research is to provide a better understanding of skeletal generation and degeneration, and to identify new therapeutic approaches.