We are excited to share that we received a Center for Clinical and Translational (CCTR) Endowment Fund award for our work on unraveling the role of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) in aging musculoskeletal tissues. This award is funded by the VCU CCTR Endowment Fund and a CTSA award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. This award will help us to continue to develop our benchtop model which allows us to investigate the impact of AGE crosslinks on mechanics and cell-matrix interactions are multiple levels of collagen organization. Understanding how AGEs effect cells at various levels of collagen organization allows use to better predict how AGEs will impact tissues throughout the body composed of various degrees of collagen fiber organization. By better understanding how cells and tissues are effected by AGEs we hope to develop targeted therapeutics for reducing age-related injury and disease in musculoskeletal tissues.
Congratulations to Reem for being awarded a VCU Undergraduate Fellowship for Clinical and Translational Research, one of the most competitive institutional awards for undergraduate research and scholarship at VCU. She is working on developing fluorescent high density collagen gels for tracking cellular turnover of collagen during extended tissue culture and during the process of hierarchical collagen fiber formation.