Maria A. Serrat, Ph.D, assistant professor in the department of anatomy and pathology at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and a team of multidisciplinary researchers from several institutions have received federal grant funds totaling $383,000 to continue research into the effects of temperature on bone elongation.
Serrat says the three-year award from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is an extension of work initially funded from a bridge grant from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
“We hope our results will facilitate the design of heat-based, drug-targeting approaches to enhance bone length using noninvasive techniques such as warm temperature applications,” Serrat said. “This work is significant because it has the potential to produce transformative findings that link heat, bone lengthening and vascular access to the growing skeleton which could lead to better clinical therapies for children in particular.”
Serrat’s team of collaborators include Marshall graduate and medical students as well as faculty researchers from Cornell University, Mayo Clinic, the University of Kentucky and Ohio University.
“We are in the basic science stage of research and over the course of the three-year funding period hope to collect enough data to support a larger scale translational medicine project leading to a potential clinical trial with help from our collaborators at Mayo Clinic,” Serrat said.
“Dr. Serrat is accomplishing great work in her laboratory which has the potential to have a tremendous clinical impact in the future,” said Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the Marshall School of Medicine. “Marshall is continuing to build its research footprint and investigators like Maria Serrat are an integral part of our success.”
Serrat graduated from Miami University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. She then earned her master’s degree in anthropology from Kent State University and followed with a doctorate in biological anthropology from Kent State University in 2007. She joined the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 2009.