Guelcher named director of Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology

Scott A. Guelcher, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been named director of the Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology housed within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

VCBB investigates diseases of bone and mineral metabolism. Investigators associated with the center study the mechanisms regulating bone remodeling and repair, novel biomaterials for bone regeneration, cancer-induced bone disease, fracture repair and osteoporosis, and embryonic bone development.

Scott Guelcher

“Our goals are to unravel novel biological mechanisms and to develop new treatments and diagnostic tools that can improve the quality of life for patients with bone destruction due to disease or trauma,” said Guelcher.

“Access to multiple state-of-the-art instruments and cores at VUMC and Vanderbilt University allows us to perform molecular, cellular and biochemical studies, and to precisely quantify changes in bone volume, architecture, biomechanical properties and histology upon gene alterations, growth, aging, disease, trauma, or pharmacologic treatments,” he said.

Students, post-docs, and faculty from multiple departments, including medicine; cancer biology; orthopedics; pathology, microbiology, and immunology; and pharmacology in the School of Medicine, and departments in the School of Engineering are actively involved in this research activity.

Guelcher’s research focuses on the design and development of biomaterials and drug delivery systems that enhance healing of tissue damaged by trauma or disease. He collaborates with biomedical scientists and clinicians to design, develop, and scale-up new materials for bone and soft tissue regeneration from the bench to the bedside.

His current projects include design of injectable tissue grafts for healing bone in challenging environments, including weight-bearing anatomic sites, defects contaminated by bacteria, and large tissue voids resulting from extremity and craniofacial trauma. He also studies how the bone/tumor microenvironment regulates the progression of tumor-induced bone disease and designs new tumor-targeted therapies to block establishment of tumors in bone.

School of Engineering faculty affiliated with VCBB include John Wilson, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Craig Duvall, associate professor of biomedical engineering.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering