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The long-term goals of the McNulty Lab are to develop strategies to prevent osteoarthritis and to promote tissue repair and regeneration following joint injury. In order to achieve these goals, we need to understand the mechanisms necessary for tissue repair and regeneration and how they are altered with aging and joint injury. Specifically, Dr. McNulty’s lab is working to enhance the integrative repair of meniscus to restore meniscal function and decrease the risk of osteoarthritis development. The lab has identified IL-1 and TNF as inhibitors of integrative meniscal repair and are developing novel methods to suppress inflammation and the downstream mediators of these cytokines to promote tissue repair. Furthermore, Dr. McNulty and her team are working to understand the pathways that are activated by normal and injurious mechanical loading of joint tissues and how these mechanotransduction pathways are altered during aging. A greater understanding of alterations in mechanosensitive signaling mechanisms with aging and injury will likely reveal potential targets to prevent tissue degeneration and osteoarthritis.

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