Education: B.A. University of Vermont; Ph.D. Purdue University; Postdoctoral- University of Wisconsin-Madision
The Franceschi laboratory is studying signals regulating the formation and functioning of osteoblasts, cells that produce and mineralize the extracellular matrix of bone, and is applying this knowledge to regenerate mineralized tissues for eventual clinical use. Research is focused on mechanisms controlling osteoblast-specific gene expression with particular emphasis on the roles of bone-associated transcription factors, hormones/growth factors, cell:extracellular matrix interactions, and mechanical force in this process. Separate studies are also developing gene therapy and ultrasound approaches for bone regeneration including the use of ultrasound for temporal and spacial control of differentiation and angiogenic factor expression.
My research group is part of the University of Michigan Musculoskeletal Research Center and the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration, an interactive group of researchers in the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Engineering having the common goal of conducting basic and applied research directed toward treating diseases of mineralized tissues.
Franceschi RT. Biological approaches for bone regeneration using gene therapy. Crit. Rev. Oral Biol. Med. J Dental Res 84:1093-1103, 2005.
Zhang Y, Deng X, Scheller EL, Kwon TG, Lahann J, Franceschi RT, Krebsbach PH. The effects of Runx2 immobilization on poly (varepsilon-caprolactone) on osteoblast differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells in vitro. Biomaterials. 2010 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20129661.
Ge C, Xiao G, Jiang D, Yang Q, Hatch NE, Franceschi RT. Identification and functional characterization of extracellular-regulated kinase/MAPK phosphorylation sites in the Runx2 transcription factor. J Biol Chem. 2009 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 19801668.
Li Y, Ge C, Franceschi RT. Differentiation-Dependent Association of Phosphorylated Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase with the Chromatin of Osteoblast-Related Genes. J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 19580458.
Li Y, Ge C, Long JP. Begun DL, Rodriguez JA, Goldstein SA and Franceschi RT. Biomechanical stimulation of osteoblast gene expression requires phosphorylation of the RUNX2 transcription factor. J Bone Miner Res 27:538-551, 2012.
Wilson C, Padilla F, Zhang M, Vilaboa N, Kripfgans O, Fowlkes B and Franceschi RT. Ultrasound-Induced Hyperthermia for the Spatio-Temporal Control of Gene Expression in Bone Repair. International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound Proceedings-In Press.