Dr. Hongsik Jake Cho, Ph.D, MBA, Associate Professor in the UTHSC-Campbell Clinic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, received a $1.56 Million Rehabilitation Research and Development Award from the VA in June. This award supports four years to study post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA), a disabling condition with no effective treatment. However, regenerative medicine offers hope through stem cell therapy. To address challenges faced by transplanted stem cells, a two-step treatment using anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nanoparticles will be explored. By studying this treatment strategy, Dr. Cho and colleagues hope to develop a better understanding of how to improve the conditions in arthritic joints and increase the chances of successful stem cell therapy.
The VA MERIT award, given by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), supports outstanding investigators’ innovative research projects in the field of veterans’ health. MERIT stands for “Method to Extend Research in Time,” and the award is designed to provide long-term support to scientists who have demonstrated exceptional competence and productivity in their research.