The Alman Lab: using cell and developmental biology to identify & improve therapeutic approaches to regeneration & Pathologic Disorders

Research Focus

Go to Wound Healing

Wound Healing

Go to Stem Cells & Neoplasia

Stem Cells & Neoplasia

Go to Cartilage & Joint Development

Cartilage & Joint Development

Go to Joint Degeneration & Repair

Joint Degeneration & Repair

Go to Bone Regeneration

Bone Regeneration

About the Alman Lab

Dr. Alman is an orthopaedic clinician-scientist whose research focuses on understanding the role of developmentally important processes in the pathologic process involving the musculoskeletal system.
Dr. Alman is the principal investigator on several NIH grants and has more than 175 peer-reviewed publications.

The long-term goal of his work is to use this knowledge to identify improved therapeutic approaches to orthopaedic pathologic disorders. He makes extensive use of genetically modified mice to model human disease, and used this approach to identify new drug therapies for musculoskeletal tumors and to improve the outcome of related processes in cartilage, skin, and bone. As part of this work, Dr. Alman generated novel genetically modified mice to study tumors and reparative processes and is using these to develop new therapies. He also works on cellular heterogeneity in bone tumors, such as sarcomas, and how this relates to developmental processes. His lab identified a subpopulation of tumor initiating cells in musculoskeletal tumors, and found that this subpopulation of is responsible for sarcoma self-renewal. Another focus of the Alman Lab is to determine the regulation of mesenchymal cells in repair processes. Dr. Alman’s work on beta-catenin (ß-catenin) using transgenic mice was the first demonstration of the importance of this pathway in fracture repair. More recently, he used lineage-tracing studies to investigate the role of macrophage cells in skin and bone repair, and found a novel role for young hematopoietic cells in rejuvenating fracture repair. Dr. Alman is the principal investigator on several NIH grants; has more than 175 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Lancet, Cell, and Nature Medicine; and has supervised over 30 graduate students and postdoctoral research trainees in his lab. He was recruited to Duke from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in 2013.


The research in the Alman laboratory is focused on five research projects: Wound Healing, Stem Cells and Neoplasia, Cartilage and Joint Development, Joint Degeneration and Repair, and Bone Regeneration. Members within the five research projects interact extensively and share and complement research expertise.

Benjamin A. Alman, MD

Principal Investigator
Benjamin A. Alman, MD, Distinguished James R. Urbaniak Professor | Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery | Duke University | Professor in Cell Biology, Pediatrics, and Pathology

Makoto Nakagawa

Postdoctoral Associate


Postdoctoral Associate

Eijiro Shimada

Postdoctoral Associate

Savanna Ma

Graduate Student

Tuyet Nguyen

Graduate Student

Asjah Wallace

Graduate Student

Jing Xie

Graduate Student

Choiselle Marius

Graduate Student

MaKenna Browne

Graduate Student

Dr. Tomasa Barrientos De Renshaw

Senior Research Scientist

Puvi Nadesan

Research Analyst II

Vijitha Puviindran

Research Analyst II

Bridgette Furman

Research Analyst II

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