Roberto Civitelli, MD

Sydney M and Stella H Schoenberg Professor of Medicine

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

The long-term goal of our research efforts is to understand the cellular and molecular basis of the bone remodeling process, and to devise mechanisms by which this balance can be modified. Our current research is focused on how bone cells function in a social context, via intercellular communication through gap junctions and direct cell-to-cell contact. Using mouse genetics and in vitro approaches, we find that recessive null or dominant negative mutations of some connexin and cadherin genes lead to skeletal developmental abnormalities, reduced bone mass and abnormalities of bone cell differentiation and function. We are using these models to test how interference with cell-cell adhesion and communication modulates bone anabolic responses to bio-pharmacologic and physical/mechanical stimuli. The ultimate goal is to identify potential new targets for maximizing bone mass acquisition and expand therapeutic potentials for demineralizing conditions, such as osteoporosis.
More information on research activity can be found in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences web site, under Faculty (