Columbia Orthopaedics is pleased to announce that Francis Y. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chairman for Research, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery with Tenure, Chief of Musculoskeletal Oncology, Director, Center for Orthopaedic Research, and Columbia University Senator has obtained his third NIH Grant. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering has awarded a $1.44 million, four year renewal of Dr. Lee's first R01 grant, "Mechanobiological Mechanism for Inflammatory Bone Loss." This is a noteworthy accomplishment as Dr. Lee is just one of a handful of active orthopaedic surgeons to have received R01 funding. He also is the PI for a multidisciplinary $3.1 million grant from the Department of Defense. Dr. Lee completed 3 fellowships in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Musculoskeletal Oncology and Research. Through his extraordinary scholarly accomplishments, Dr. Lee became the first tenure track orthopedic surgeon faculty to receive tenure. Clinically, Dr. Lee specializes in bone tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, metastatic bone cancers, and pediatric orthopaedic disorders. As an exemplary orthopedic surgeon scholar, he serves as both researcher and mentor to students, postdoctoral fellows, residents and junior faculty internally and nationally through AAOS/ORS/OREF mentoring programs. He has been serving on NIH review panels and ABOS committees.
During the 4-year parent grant award period (2007-2012), there was significant progress in delineating molecular pathways such as NFATc1 and pERK1/2 in the context of inflammatory osteolysis. In order to translate findings into a preclinical arena, several drug candidates were screened. PTH(1-34) has been identified as a novel anti-inflammatory agent. Our grant renewal will take a new direction that seeks to unravel, an as yet unknown, anti-inflammatory function of PTH(1-34) in the context of inflammatory osteoclastogenesis and osteolysis. This renewal award will provide insights on the specific anti-inflammatory function of hydrogel-based delivery of low-dose PTH in the setting of inflammatory osteolysis for drug development. It is hoped that this will lead to the development of clinical effective and safe treatments for inflammatory bone loss due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and orthopaedic and periodontal implants.
Additional research projects are currently investigating the molecular mechanisms behind sarcoma bone destruction and chemoresistance, and bioengineered scaffolds for segmental bone defects.