Pre Doctoral and Post Doctoral

Department - Orthopaedics - Division of Musculoskeletal Sciences


No opportunities are currently available for study at the pre- and post-doctoral levels in Musculoskeletal Biology and Bioengineering at the Division of Musculoskeletal Sciences (DOMS) within the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State.

The DOMS is a multidisciplinary research group organized to study the biology of the musculoskeletal system. The research focus of the unit includes the cell and molecular biology of the musculoskeletal system, developmental biology of bone and cartilage, computer modeling of bone adaptation and orthopaedic biomechanics. A multidisciplinary approach is taken which vertically integrates research at the whole animal, organ, tissue, cell and molecular level. The DOMS offers a graduate program through Penn State's Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, the Graduate Program in Cell and Molecular Biology, the Graduate Program in Physiology, the Integrative Bioscience Option in Molecular Medicine or Biomolecular Transport Dynamics and the Bioengineering Program.

The DOMS is comprised of approximately 25 individuals including four faculty members with diverse interests in musculoskeletal biology and orthopaedic bioengineering, as well as research technicians, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and medical students. The DOMS is comprised of over 5,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. The laboratory is fully equipped for state of the art cell and molecular biology, mechanical engineering and computational biomechanics. Major equipment includes cell and tissue culture facilities, a microscopic imaging facility, equipment for histomorphometric analysis of hard and soft tissue, Interlaken servohydraulic and Instron material testing machines and a fully supported computer network for word processing, computational modeling, data analysis and graphical presentation. The DOMS also has a surgical suite suitable for small animal surgery. State of the art research techniques including computational finite element analysis, biaxial servohydraulic testing, nanotechnology, microspectrofluorometry, patch clamp electrophysiology, in situ PCR, dominant-negative transgenics and genetic linkage analysis are utilized to address current problems in musculoskeletal disease. In particular, a strong research effort focuses on examining the mechanism by which bone and cartilage adapt to their environment, both biophysical and chemical (hormonal), and how this changes as a function of age.

Specific research interests of the faculty include the molecular biology of cartilage development and osteoarthritis, development of transgenic animal models of musculoskeletal disease, bone and cartilage cell biology, biophysical signal transduction, pathophysiology of age-related and post-menopausal osteoporosis, cell and molecular biology of metastasis, computational biomechanics, effects of exercise on bone and cartilage and assessment of orthopaedic implant function and failure. Research within the DOMS is unique in that an integrative multidisciplinary approach is taken to address issues of musculoskeletal biology and pathology. Musculoskeletal biology is studied at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and whole animal level. This unique perspective offers the student a diverse learning experience in virtually any area of contemporary musculoskeletal research.

Contact Information

Christopher Niyibizi, PhD
Associate Professor, Division of Musculoskeletal Sciences
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Penn State College of Medicine
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
P.O. Box 850, Hershey, PA 17033-0850
Tel: 717-531-4819
Fax: 717-531-7583
email: cniyibizi@hmc.psu.edu