Dr. Caplan, Professor of Biology at Case Western Reserve University and the Director of the Skeletal Research Center, is involved in all of the research and experimentation associated with the center staff and center faculty. During the last 30 years here at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Caplan has become recognized as a prominent member of the research community involved with understanding aspects of the molecular and cellular details of the embryological development of both cartilage and bone. His biochemical and morphological studies associated with the embryology of hard tissue have been recognized on national and international levels and have resulted in over 300 publications in scholarly journals or books. In particular, his recent studies indicate that some of the essential steps in embryonic bone formation have been incorrectly understood for a number of years. Using monoclonal antibodies and other biochemical probes, he and his collaborators have begun to unravel some of the molecular and cellular control mechanisms involved with both cartilage and bone morphogenesis. In addition, his recent studies associated with the isolation of bioactive factors from adult bone have brought him into the area of bone and cartilage repair. He has collaborative interactions with all of the members of the center faculty and provides the center with its core technology as related to cartilage and bone repair and development.
Donald P. Lennon, D.D.S. is the Director of the Cell Culture Facility of the Skeletal Research Center. He has over 20 years of experience in culturing avian and mammalian cell isolates. He has been involved in the development of chemically defined media for Stage 24 chick limb bud mesenchymal cells and for rat marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rMSCs) and he supervises the screening of fetal bovine serum for serum-supplemented cultivation of many different cell types. Dr. Lennon is currently involved in investigating the effect of reduced oxygen tension on cultured rMSCs.
Joseph M. Mansour, Ph.D. is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Institute. His research is concerned with the mechanical behavior of cartilaginous tissues in normal, diseased, and repaired states. He uses both mathematical and experimental models to characterize the tissue. Mechanical characterization is an essential component of the overall understanding of these tissues which perform a mechanical function.
J. Michael Sorrell, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Associate and Director of the Monoclonal Antibody Facility. His current studies are directed towards human dermal fibroblast populations of skin.
Jean F. Welter, M.D., Ph.D. is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, and Director of the Bioreactor core facility in the Skeletal Research Center. His current primary research interests include mesenchymal stem cell-based tissue-engineering and cell-based therapies, particularly of cartilage and bone. A major line of work focusses on understanding and meeting the metabolic demands of differentiating stem cells, both through optimization of the cell population and through enhancement of mass-transport in the developing engineered cartilage. Other interests include the development of required ancillary technologies for cartilage tissue engineering, such as bioreactors and monitoring and imaging techniques as well as computer modelling, mechanobiology, and bone grafting and bone-graft substitutes.
The Bioreactor Core faciltiy provides bioreactor culture support for SRC investigators and external collaborators for routine tissue engineering, as well as technical expertise for experimental design and development of project-specific bioreactor systems.