A holistic understanding of the mechanisms producing and maintaining a healthy skeleton requires concurrent investigations of its biological and physical features at molecular, cellular, tissue/organ, and organism levels. Likewise, an interdisciplinary approach is required to identify etiologies of skeletal diseases, like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The overall goal of the Skeletal Biology Core is to facilitate the understanding of basic skeletal biology, discovery of disease mechanisms, and development of novel diagnostics and therapies for musculoskeletal disease by providing resources and expertise in different areas of skeletal biology in a highly integrated infrastructure. It is specifically set to overcome three current obstacles ~ the lack of an interdisciplinary approach, funding constraints, and insufficient training for skeletal biologists and physician scientists ~ that hinder skeletal research and its translation into clinical use. This goal will be achieved by providing: (1) a cost-effective one-stop skeletal phenotyping center that allows integrated skeletal tissue analyses from the molecular to cellular, tissue/organ, and organism levels, (2) a dynamic venue for interactions among scientists of various disciplines;and (3) a strong platform for fostering versatile skeletal biologists with a broad set of skills and critical thinking. Specifically, we will (a) establish a sample coordinating office (SCO) to orchestrate sample analyses by: (1) providing consultation with regard to strategies for sample analyses;(2) referring samples to the Imaging Core and/or various SBC sub-cores for concurrent analyses;(3) standardizing protocols;(4) assisting in data interpretation;and (5) compiling reports to the users;(b) develop and integrate the Histology, Biomechanics, Molecular Biology, and Cell Culture sub-cores into a 'one-stop'skeletal phenotyping center to provide high-quality, efficient, costeffective service while driving the development of new approaches;(c) educate and cultivate a community of skeletal investigators by organizing enrichment and training activities. The successful implementation of this Core will not only reduce research expenses and increase the output and quality of data, but also to produce robust in-depth analyses of samples and animal models through integration of different aspects of skeletal biology.
The purpose of the Skeletal Biology Core is to facilitate the discovery of disease mechanisms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, as well as the development of novel diagnostics and therapies for musculoskeletal disease by providing resources and expertise to study the biology and biomechanics of the skeleton.