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Department of Orthopedics Research Faculty


P FanningPaul Fanning, PhD (Basic/Translational)

(research page)
Cartilage Basic Science Research
Mechanical Models of Arthritis
Mechanical Force and Signaling Pathways in Cartilage Molecular
Mechanisms of OA Progression

The overall goal of this project is to advance the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of osteoarthritis (OA) progression through the novel finding that mechanical force activates critical cellular-signaling pathways in cartilage.  A primary goal proposed here is the analysis of the outcomes of these signaling events on the expression and activities of certain degradative enzymes (matrix metalloproteinases, MMPs), which are known to be the major effectors of OA.


Patricia FranklinPatricia Franklin, MD, MBA, MPH (Clinical/Population)

(research page)
Research Focus
Biopsychosocial predictors of functional outcome, cost, and utilization in chronic musculoskeletal conditions
Role of physical activity and self-care in functional outcome
eHealth interventions to support self-care and tertiary prevention in aging, chronic disease populations

Patricia Franklin is Director of Clinical and Outcomes Research and a member of the core faculty of the PhD in Clinical and Population Health Research. She has extensive experience in the analysis and interpretation of clinical and outcome data and is particularly interested in post-total joint replacement functional gains. With her colleagues, she has conducted a series of funded studies to evaluate the contribution of the patient’s physical and emotional health and daily activity to long-term function after total knee replacement (TKR), Medicare’s highest volume procedure. Dr. Franklin currently serves as Principal Investigator on the AHRQ-funded program project grant: Improving orthopedic outcomes through a national TJR registry (www.force-tjr.org). UMMS leads this national research effort to define patient-centric outcomes after TJR to better understand predictors of pain relief, gains in physical function, work productivity, and to identify reasons for disparity in TJR use. Dr. Franklin and colleagues are also conducting an NIH trial to evaluate a program to enhance patient adherence to optimal levels of home exercise and physical activity in the TKR rehabilitation period. Dr. Franklin’s eHealth research includes a multi-site RCT testing the efficacy of brief emails to facilitate diet and physical activity change (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health e-Technologies Initiative). Recently the RWJF funded her team to transform population data into web-based outcome prediction tools that will allow patients and physicians to anticipate individualized functional gains after TKR. She is also collaborating in the development of technology for patients to monitor and trend pain and function in personal and electronic health records. While her research focuses on patients with advanced knee arthritis and TKR, each of these eHealth interventions can be extrapolated to self-care in the aging adult.


Jie Song2Jie Song, PhD (Basic/Translational)

(research page)
Synthetic extracellular matrix analogs for guiding the repair and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues

With a growing and aging population, the demand for synthetic grafts assisting the repair and reconstruction of musculoskeletal tissue defects induced by trauma, aging, cancer and metabolic diseases is quickly rising. Our lab is interested in designing synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) analogs capable of promoting the repair or guiding the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues. These synthetic constructs are also programmed with unique physical properties to facilitate surgical handling (e.g. deployable, elastic, injectable) and proper in vivo degradation characteristics.


Hua Zheng, PhD (Clinical Research Informatics)

(research page)

Dr Zheng's major research interest is clinical research informatics, including design, implementation, and usability evaluation of patient-centric applications, integration of electronic health records and patient-reported outcomes, and data governance and data quality management in clinical research. Currently she leads user interface design and data management in the AHRQ-funded national research program: Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement (FORCE-TJR). 


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