Bone Biology

Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik conducts her research under the umbrella of Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (CeDER) and has several grants in the area related to Diabetes, Obesity and Osteoporosis. These are major public health concerns due to their prevalence in our increasingly sedentary and aging society. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARg) transcription factor is a protein that regulates glucose metabolism and energy expenditure. This protein also regulates lineage commitment of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). PPARg protein is a target for a class of anti-diabetic drugs TZDs, which decrease glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Despite their beneficial anti-diabetic profile, prolonged treatment with these drugs leads to the bone loss and increased number of bone fractures in diabetic patients. Dr. Lecka-Czernik”s research has demonstrated that TZDs affect bone mass by changing lineage commitment of MSC toward formation of fat cells (adipocytes) and away from formation of bone forming cells (osteoblast). As a result, TZD administration to animals, as well as to humans, leads to the bone loss and the gain of fat in the bone marrow. Her research also demonstrated that the similar mechanism involving PPARg protein is responsible for bone loss with aging.

Orthopaedic Biomechanics (Joint Mechanics and Injury Mechanics)
Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Bone Biology 
Clinical Evaluation (retrospective and prospective clinical studies)
Assistive Technologies
Ongoing Projects

Last Updated: 6/27/22