During the last 25 years, diseases involving the musculoskeletal system, including osteoporosis and multiple myeloma, and orthopedic disorders, ranging from developmental abnormalities in children to artificial joint replacement and osteomyelitis, have been a major focus of both the clinical and research programs of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI) and the Central Arkansas Veterans Health System (CAVHS). As a result, UAMS and these affiliated institutions have gained national and international recognition for excellence in the research and treatment of bone diseases.

We propose to build on these accomplishments by creating the Center for Musculoskeletal Disease Research (CMDR) at UAMS. The scientific theme of this center is that molecular and genetic analysis of musculoskeletal diseases, and conditions that involve the skeleton as part of their disease process, will lead to a better understanding of their causes and will support development of novel therapies. The overall goal of the CMDR, therefore, is to advance the understanding and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases by promoting the scientific development of project leaders to independence and integrating them with established investigators, all supported by effective research cores, to create productive research teams.