Since joining the UD faculty in 2019, Fowler has launched a mentoring program for faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, where several assistant professors recently have won prestigious NIH R01 grants.
“Similarly, at the new center, we have a deep commitment to mentoring and career development to support the transition of junior faculty to extramurally funded research investigators,” Fowler said. “This is absolutely essential in cultivating and retaining new biomedical research leaders. We are fortunate to have the UD ADVANCE Institute at the University, which will serve as a critical collaborator and faculty resource.”
On the technology side, new scientific instruments and techniques, from in vivo micro-computed tomography to photoacoustic imaging systems to customized biomechanical manipulation systems, will allow researchers to investigate the interactions of cells and tissues with their environment. These state-of-the-art tools will be the domain of the Multiscale Assessments Research Core, under the leadership of Sullivan and Wang. The core will be located in newly renovated space on the second floor of the Life Sciences Research Facility.
"This research core will serve not only as an intellectual hub for the DCMR community, but also as a gateway to access other superb partner cores such as UD’s Bio-Imaging Center," Wang said.
The COBRE funding also will expand and reorganize the staffing model for core resources relevant to the center’s work, including increased support for experimental design and execution.
"The organization of experimental resources and staff under the core umbrella will create a single starting point for our scientists to obtain scientific and technical guidance involving biomechanical, biophysical and bioimaging analysis of musculoskeletal tissues, and it will enable experimental approaches to be refined, validated, codified and shared more broadly," Sullivan said.
With more than 60 researchers working in musculoskeletal and rehabilitation science across the University, UD is a growing force in the field. The Delaware Center for Musculoskeletal Research will serve as a catalyst for further developing a nationally recognized network of researchers dedicated to improving musculoskeletal health.
“These disorders can have a devastating impact on lives,” Elliott said. “Through our studies, we will be working to understand how tissues function, how they break down with aging and injury, and how they heal. Ultimately, we want people to have the ability to take care of themselves, to live without pain and to enjoy an active lifestyle.”
Article by Tracey Bryant
Illustration by Jeffrey C. Chase
Video courtesy of Dawn Elliott and Elise Corbin
Published March 17, 2021