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College of Nursing and Health Innovation | The University of Texas at ArlingtonCollege of Nursing and Health Innovation | The University of Texas at Arlington


Touching Lives. Transforming Health Care.

Bone-Muscle Research Center

Bone-Muscle Research Center - College of Nursing and Health Innovation

Welcome from the Director

Dr. Marco Brotto
Dr. Marco Brotto, Director

The musculoskeletal (MSK) system is by far the largest system in our bodies. Each of us has 208 bones, 650 muscles, and about 1,300 tendons, plus all the vessels and nerves that bring nutrition and stimulation to this this amazing system that gives us movement and life. Why are you breathing right now? You are breathing because of your MSK system. Each movement, each step, everything you carried today (including yourself!) involved your musculoskeletal system.

How would you feel if your muscles didn't move as well, or maybe didn't move at all? If your bones could easily break? What if your muscles and bones ached all the time?

This is precisely what is happening with more and more Americans and humans worldwide. Many different disorders or conditions affect the MSK system. To give a dimension of how serious this problem is, data informs that more than one in two adults 18 and older in the US, or 128 million Americans, suffer from a MSK condition. Worldwide, close to 2 billion people suffer from these diseases. In the United States, we are spending nearly $1 trillion per year to treat these conditions.

This scenario gets worse with aging. As we age, especially if we lead sedentary life styles and use ethanol and tobacco, we are continuously losing mass and function of our MSK and developing conditions such as atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia.

Our Center brings recognized researchers with different areas of expertise that are highly complementary in bone, muscle, neuronal, and vascular biology. We are Applied, Basic, Translational, and Clinical scientists working together with chemists, engineers, and computational biologists to find new answers to old and new questions and using highly-innovative, integrative, and inter-transdisciplinary approaches to find new cures, and to promote longer and healthier living.

What We Do

The Bone-Muscle Collaborative Research Center has four main objectives:

  • Answer essential questions about the mechanisms of Bone-Muscle and beyond or the musculoskeletal (MSK) system health and disease.
  • Discover strategies for health, for improved MSK function during development and aging.
  • Determine strategies for healing, for improved MSK function during pathological states based on a solid foundation of proven knowledge and new, emerging groundbreaking knowledge.
  • Educate and work together with current and future generations of administrators, industry leaders, clinicians, educators, scientists, and representatives/legislators who will be key in the development and implementation of this new “state-of-the-edge science”. These stakeholders will help translate it into novel human therapies and policies that shall benefit the individual and society.