Gene and Cell Based Therapy

Vadala G, Sowa GA, Smith L, Hubert MG, Levicoff EA, Denaro V, Gilbertson LG, Kang JD. “Regulation of transgene expression using an inducible system for improved safety of intervertebral disc gene therapy.” Spine 1;32(13):1381-1387. 2007. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3180601215. 

Sowa G, Westrick E, Pacek C, Coelho P, Patel D, Vadala G, Georescu H, Vo N, Studer R, Kang J. “In vitro and in vivo testing of a novel regulatory system for gene therapy for intervertebral disc degeneration.” Spine 1;36(10):E623-628. 2011. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181ed11c1.  

Woods, BI, Vo N, Sowa G, Kang JD. “Gene therapy for intervertebral disc degeneration.” Orthop Clin North Am, 42(4):563-574. 2011. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2011.07.002. 

Biology of Disc Degeneration

Moon CH, Jacobs L, Kim JH, Sowa G, Vo N, Kang J, Bae KT. “Part 2: Quantitative proton T2 and sodium magnetic resonance imaging to assess intervertebral disc degeneration in a rabbit model.” Spine, 15;37(18): E1113-9. 2012. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3182583447.

Nasto LA, Wang D, Robinson AR, Clauson CL, Ngo K, Dong Q, Roughley P, Epperly M, Huq SM, Pola E, Sowa G, Robbins PD, Kang J, Niedernhofer LJ, Vo N. “Genotoxic stress accelerates age-associated degenerative changes in intervertebral discs.” Mech Ageing Dev, 134(1-2): 35-42. 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2012.11.002.

Nasto L, Robison A, Ngo K, Dong Q, Croix C, Sowa G, Pola E, Robbins P, Kang J, Niedernhofer L, Wipf P, Vo N. “Mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a causal role in aging-related intervertebral disc degeneration.” J Orthop. Res, 31(7): 1150-1157. 2013. doi: 10.1002/jor.22320.

Vaudreuil N, Kadow T, Hartman R, Coelho P, Pohl P, Yurube T, Dong Q, Ngo K, Kang J, Vo N, Sowa G. “NSAID use in intervertebral disc degeneration: what are the effects on matrix homeostasis.” The Spine J, 17(8): 1163-1170. 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2017.04.012.

Ngo K, Patil P, McGowan SJ, Niedernhofer LJ, Robbins PD, Kang J, Sowa G, Vo N. “Senescent intervertebral disc cells exhibit perturbed matrix homeostasis phenotype.” Mech Aging Dev, 166: 16-23. 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2017.08.007.

Biomarker Discovery

Nasto LA, Seo HY, Robinson A, Tilstra J, Clauson C, Sowa G, Ngo K, Dong Q, Pola E, Lee JY, Robbins P, Niedernhofer L, Kang JD, Robbins P, Vo N.  “Inhibition of NF-kb activity ameliorates age-associated disc degeneration in a mouse model of accelerated aging. (Winner of ISSLS Prize in Basic Science).” Spine, 37(21): 1819-1825. 2012. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31824ee8f7.

Nasto LA, Ngo K, Lerne A, Robinson AR, Dong Q, Roughley P, Usas A, Sowa G, Pola E, Kang JD, Niedernhofer LJ, Shapiro S, Vo N. “Investigating the role of DNA damage in tobacco smoke induced spine degeneration.” The Spine J, 19(32): 9-13. 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2013.08.034.

Kevin N, Pohl P, Leme AS, Lee J, Di YP, Roughley P, Robbins PD, Niedernhofer LJ, Sowa G, Kang JD, Shapiro SS, Vo N. “ADAMTS-5 deficiency protects mice from chronic tobacco smoking-induced intervertebral disc degeneration.” Spine, 42(20): 1521-1528. 2017. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002258.

Sowa GA, Perera S, Bechara B, Agarwal V, Boardman J, Huang W, Camacho-Soto A, Vo N, Kang J, Weiner D. “Associations of Serum Biomarkers with Pain and Pain Related Function in Older Adults with Low Back Pain: A Pilot Study.” J Am Geri Soc, 62(11): 2047-55. 2014. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13102.


Hartman R, Quan B, Yao N, Bell K, Sowa G, Kang J. “Needle puncture in rabbit functional spinal units alters rotational biomechanics.” J Spinal Disord Tech, 28(3): E146-53. 2015. doi: 10.1097/BSD.0000000000000196.

Hartman R, Yurube T, Ngo K, Merzlak N, Debski RE, Brown B, Kang J, Sowa G. “Biological Responses to Flexion/Extension in Spinal Segmenets Ex-vivo.” J Ortho Res, 33(8): 1255-1264. 2015. doi: 10.1002/jor.22900.

Bell KM, Bechara BP, Hartman RA, Shively C, Frazier EC, Lee JY, Kang JD, Donaldson WF. “Influence of number of operated levels and postoperative time on active range of motion following anterior cervical decompression and fusion procedures.” Spine, 36(4): 263-8. 2011. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181ccc552.


Bell KM, Hartman RA, Gilbertson LG, Kang JD. “In vitro spine testing using a robot-based testing system: comparison of displacement control and “hybrid control”.” J Biomech, 46(10): 1663-9. 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.04.007.

Bell KM, Arilla FV, Rahnemai-Azar AA, Fu FH, Musahl V, Debski RE. “Novel technique for evaluation of knee function continuously through the range of flexion.” J Biomech, 48(13): 3737-40. 2015. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.08.019.

Bell KM, Yan Y, Debski RE, Sowa GA, Kang JD, Tashman S. “Influence of varying compressive loading methods on physiologic motion patterns in the cervical spine.” J Biomech, 49(2): 167-72. 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.11.045.

Bell KM, Rahnemai-Azar AA, Irarrazaval S, Guenther D, Fu FH, Musahl V, Debski RE. “In situ force in the anterior cruciate ligament, the lateral collateral ligament, and the anterolateral capsule complex during a simulated pivot shift test.” J Orthop Res, 36(3): 847-853. 2017. doi: 10.1002/jor.23676.