Jenna Galloway, PhD
Harvard Medical School
Research in our laboratory is committed to expanding our molecular understanding of the formation and regeneration of tendons and ligaments. Injuries to tendons and ligaments result in a slow and imperfect regenerative response. In most cases, the original biomechanical properties of the tissue are never restored, resulting in scarring and limited mobility. We use a multidisciplinary approach, combining genetic and chemical screening with different model systems such as zebrafish and stem cells, to identify essential regulators of tendon and ligament biology.
One major area of research in the laboratory aims to identify the cues that direct progenitor cells to become mature tendons and ligaments. During embryogenesis, progenitor cell populations will form the tendon or cartilage tissues in our limbs, head and spine. We are interested in elucidating the pathways that regulate this fate decision, expand tendon and ligament populations, and promote more faithful differentiation into these lineages.
We are also focused on understanding the critical factors that coordinate the attachments between muscle, tendon, and bone. By combining live-imaging and high-throughput screening approaches, our goal is to identify the molecules and cellular behaviors governing these processes. In the long term, my laboratory aims to transform these discoveries into regenerative biology solutions to better heal and repair tendon and ligament injuries.
Jenna Galloway received her B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University. Her graduate research was performed in the laboratory of Dr. Leonard Zon at Children’s Hospital, Boston, where she worked on pathways regulating blood stem cell biology and lineage fate decisions. After her Ph.D., she joined the lab of Dr. Clifford Tabin in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, where she applied her knowledge of musculoskeletal development towards an improved understanding of the mechanisms leading to the congenital limb malformation, phocomelia. Currently, Dr. Galloway is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Her laboratory uses zebrafish genetics and stem cells to understand how tendons and ligaments form, organize, and regenerate with the ultimate goal of applying this knowledge towards the development of improved therapies for tendon and ligament injuries.