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Using Stem Cells to Improve Surgical Outcomes for Rotator Cuff Injuries

Investigating novel stem cell-based therapies for rotator cuff repair

Hospital for Special Surgery
New York City, NY Dr. Christopher L. Mendias

The National Stem Cell Foundation partnered with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) to support the work of Dr. Christopher Mendias at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City.

Rotator cuff disease is a frequent and debilitating upper extremity injury. Even after surgical repair, patients with chronic rotator cuff tears often fail to return to full function and experience persistent pain and disability.

Dr. Mendias is conducting a Phase II clinical trial to determine if this promising and practical autologous cell therapy can improve outcomes for patients with chronic rotator cuff tears who undergo surgical repair.


Dr. Christopher Mendias is an Associate Scientist in the Orthopaedic Soft Tissue Research Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery and an Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Mendias received his undergraduate degree in Athletic Training and Biology and a Master of Science degree in Physiology at the University of Arizona. He then received his PhD in Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan, where he also completed his postdoctoral fellowship.

Prior to the Hospital for Special Surgery, Dr. Mendias was an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Mendias is a musculoskeletal physiologist who studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle and tendon growth and recovery from injuries.

Studies in the Mendias Lab in skeletal muscle are focused on the cytokines TGF-b and myostatin in regulating muscle protein degradation and fibrosis, and studies in tendon mechanobiology are focused on the bHLH transcription factor scleraxis and its role in tendon stem cell biology, tissue regeneration and adaptation to loading.

Dr. Mendias also conducts clinical trials focused on skeletal muscle atrophy and tendinopathy.