Nam Vo, PhD

  • Co-director, Ferguson Laboratory for Orthopaedic Research

Education & Training

  • 1992 – 1998 University of California at Berkeley PhD Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
  • 1998 – 2003 University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine Post-Doc Molecular Microbiology

Research Interests

Dr. Vo is currently working in the Ferguson Spine Research Laboratory to investigate the molecular and cellular processes responsible for intervertebral disc diseases, with special emphasis on understanding gene regulation of the major disc extracellular matrix constituents. Given the causal role of DNA damage in aging, his lab currently focuses on elucidating the mechanisms of how disc DNA damage is induced and the consequences of accumulated DNA damage on disc cell phenotype and extracellular matrix homeostasis. Specifically, we are now focused on determining the role of DNA damage as a driver of disc cellular senescence during aging and dissecting the NF-κB signaling pathway as a mediator of establishment of senescence and perturbation of proteoglycan matrix homeostasis in these cells. To achieve these goals, we employ the progeroid mouse Ercc1−/Δ mouse model of accelerated aging with reduced DNA repair activity and a mouse model of human chronic tobacco smokers to induce oxidative DNA damage. Identifying how disc cellular senescence is established and how proteoglycan matrix homeostasis becomes altered in these cells will offer novel opportunities for targeted therapy to prevent or treat IDD.

Dr. Vo's publications are indexed on PubMed.