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Musculoskeletal Biology Focus Area

Skeletal Draft

The Musculoskeletal Biology Research Group (MSRG) brings together multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary researchers who study the morphology, development and function of musculoskeletal system. This work spans multiple levels of biological organization, from cellular to ecologic. Our researchers study bone, muscle, cartilage and connective tissue in humans and other mammals using basic, translational and clinical approaches. Focused disease areas include osteoporosis and osteoarthritis that includes multiple model systems. The MSRG consists of  eight laboratories, eight faculty, multiple post-doctoral fellows, research staff, orthopedic residents, graduate and undergraduate students, visiting faculty and exchange medical students. Research and administrative activities include research meetings, journal clubs, small discussion groups, review research proposals and graduate education.

Our research faculty collaborate with academic institutions (local, national and international), clinical departments at regional hospitals and federal institutions. If you any question or interested in our group please contact the director of the MSRG, Fayez Safadi, Ph.D. at

Skeletal Biology Group Researchers and Faculty:

Lisa Noelle Cooper, Ph.D.
Evolutionary, developmental, and functional aspects of skeletogenesis in aerial and aquatic mammals.

Rebecca German, Ph.D. 
Behavioral impairments resulting from sensorimotor dysfunction 

Tariq Haqqi, Ph.D.
Understanding the signal transduction mechanisms/pathways that are activated by pro-inflammatory cytokines

Tobin Hieronymus, Ph.D.
Evolutionary morphology of bone/soft tissue junctions in birds reptiles and dinosaurs.

Fayez Safadi, Ph.D. 
Regulation of bone cell development and function, with specific emphasis on growth factors that can enhance osteogenesis 

J.G.M. Hans Thewissen, Ph.D.
Mammalian anatomy, development and evolution.

Christopher Vinyard, Ph.D.
Evolutionary and functional morphology of the mammalian skull.

Jesse Young, Ph.D.
Evolutionary, comparative and developmental mechanics of terrestrial locomotion.