The proposed UCSF Core Center for Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine (CCMBM) will be an interdisciplinary consortium of 114 basic and clinical scientists dedicated to understanding the biology and pathophysiology of musculoskeletal disease. The goal is to stimulate and support transdisciplinary collaborations amongst existing, premier research programs at UCSF in order to accelerate translational research in musculoskeletal science. A fundamental challenge for bench-to-bedside translational research is the need to validate in humans the findings from small animal models. The proposed CCMBM will overcome this obstacle by forming a linkage between researchers who study disease biology, experts who develop advanced investigational tools and methods, scientists who analyze vast archives of clinical data, and practitioners who actively treat patients. The UCSF CCMBM proposes three cores: 1) Skeletal Biology and Biomechanics Core; 2) Imaging Core; and 3) Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Study Design Core. These cores will provide research support and technical training, as well as a venue for new collaborations and an entry point for new members. The Center will also foster scientific exchange through an Enrichment Program; the curriculum includes seminars featuring local and visiting scientists, an annual full-day retreat with the External and Internal Advisory and Boards, and a symposium with a rotating topic relevant to our theme of Systems in Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine. Another vital component of the Center is its Pilot/Feasibility grant program. This provides seed money to junior investigators and to scientists new to musculoskeletal research. Finally, the Tool and Technology grant program will provide funds to Center members for the purpose of utilizing the outstanding specialized research services available outside the CCMBM at UCSF. Overall, the funding base for the CCMBM is robust, support from UCSF is strong, and opportunities for interactions within and outside the Center are numerous. The object of the Center is to make optimum use of all available resources to catalyze discovery in the basic biology of musculoskeletal disease.
A goal of the proposed Core Center for Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine is to facilitate translating laboratory advances to the diagnosis and treatment of human musculoskeletal disease. It is organized in a manner to reflect the spirit of the broad, interdisciplinary mandate of NIAMS: to develop ?cross-cutting? research that integrates many disciplines and involves the interplay and collaboration of a diverse array of specialists from both basic and clinical areas.