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Dr. Russell Main

Areas of Research: Skeletal tissue biomechanics and composition, novel translational assessment techniques for tissue and structural properties


  • Developing a pre-clinical assessment protocol for predicting long bone fracture in human and animal athletes
Animal and human athletes (including soldiers) commonly suffer microscopic skeletal fatigue damage that if allowed to coalesce prior to healing can result in catastrophic skeletal fracture. Only by accurately assessing the status of both the structural and material properties of the skeleton can we assess the likelihood of fracture risk with any degree of certainty. In this particular project, we are utilizing the equine athlete as a model to develop a novel combination of clinically-accessible and pre-clinical tools to assess bone tissue characteristics associated with skeletal fracture. Validation of these techniques in a pre-clinical animal model is the first step in translating these approaches to human skeletal pathological conditions associated with physical overuse and age-related or metabolic disease.
The Purdue Musculoskeletal Biology and Mechanics Lab focuses on a range of topics related to the influence of musculoskeletal loading on the skeleton’s ability to adapt to physical challenge. Within this broader goal we develop novel in vitro and in vivo models for studying bone cell mechanobiology and tissue repair and employ and validate novel assessment techniques for describing skeletal health. Our lab serves as a multi-disciplinary hub for integrating cell biology and engineering approaches to address fundamental questions in musculoskeletal health. As a result, we collaborate closely with engineers, cell biologists, geneticists, and veterinary clinical faculty.

Recruitment Needs:

  • Looking for a creative, highly motivated, self-starter to enroll as a PhD student in fall 2017.
Please feel free to contact Dr. Main directly.