The Center is directed by Dr. Charles O’Brien, an internationally recognized leader in the field of bone remodeling and the development of murine models to study human musculoskeletal disease. A key feature of the CMDR is the use of state-of-the-art molecular analyses combined with novel cellular and animal models to identify the underlying causes of musculoskeletal-related diseases. The CMDR will have an Administrative Core, three research cores, and four research projects. The Administrative Core coordinates all Center activities, oversees a mentoring program for the Project Leaders, and expands Center membership by operating a pilot project program. The CMDR also invests in an existing UAMS transgenic mouse core helping it expand its capabilities and capacity, transforming it into the Genetic Models Core. This facility uses cutting-edge technology to rapidly and efficiently genetically modify cell lines and mice to create novel models for each of the four research projects.

The CMDR has created two new research cores. The first is the Bone Histology and Imaging Core that provides highly specialized equipment and expertise needed to analyze murine bones, human bone biopsies, and human joints. The second is the Bioinformatics Core that is necessary to analyze and interpret the large data sets that are generated by the genome-wide molecular analyses conducted by all of the research projects. Each of these cores is unique in Arkansas and provide essential new services that will support the growth of musculoskeletal research at UAMS, its affiliated institutions, and other research institutions across the state.