Thomas Jefferson University Research Magazine



The pain caused by spinal disc degeneration affects millions of people worldwide and, too often, causes disability and opioid addiction. Current therapies for degenerative disc disease address only symptomatic relief. However, it may be possible to address the underlying problem by using endogenous stem cells to rebuild diseased or degenerated tissues.

Longtime research collaborators Makarand Risbud, PhD, James J. Maguire Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Irving Shapiro, PhD, Gertrude and Anthony DePalma Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, are working to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying disc degeneration, identify conditions that enhance disc cell survival and create tissueengineering methods to regenerate healthy discs.