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Sports Medicine Research

Dr. Petrigliano’s Sports Medicine Research Program

Dr. Petrigliano has developed a highly collaborative research program which has three distinct areas of focus: 1) regenerative approaches to treating musculoskeletal injury, 2) the biomechanics and kinematics of the knee and shoulder joints, 3) the study of clinical outcomes following knee, shoulder, and elbow surgery.  He has authored or co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed publications in these and other sports medicine-related topic areas.

Dr. Petrigliano Lab’s research program is focused on establishing regenerative approaches to treating musculoskeletal injury. This includes the use of progenitor cells along with biologic agents and scaffolds to prevent or reverse tissue injury due to trauma, disease, or aging.  Much of this work is focused on establishing the utility of progenitor cells to regenerate ligament, muscle, and cartilage by acting as regenerative units or secreting paracrine factors that stimulate tissue repair. This approach is paired with the application of factors that promote cell recruitment and prevent fibrosis and disorganized healing.  The goal is to devise therapies that recapitulate organized tissue regeneration and minimize the elaboration of disorganized scar.  This work has been published in the orthopaedic flagship journals, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The Journal of Orthopaedic Research, and has received the prestigious Charles S. Neer Award by the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons.

Dr. Petrigliano has a long-term collaboration with Dr. Denis Evseenko (USC) investigating novel biologic approaches to treating cartilage injury. This collaboration has resulted in five extramural grants including a Department of Defense grant (Co-I), and a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) grant (PI) as well as a recent NIH RO1 (Multi-PI). Their work is focused on the characterization of novel signaling mechanisms and progenitor chondrocytes that may improve cartilage regeneration after traumatic joint injury. This effort has resulted in six co-authored manuscripts and multiple patents. More recently, we have begun planning a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety of CX-011, a novel small molecule, developed at USC, which has demonstrated efficacy in forestalling the progression of post-traumatic OA in a canine model.   If effective, this small molecule will be one of the first disease modifying agents available for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Finally, our group has published a large volume of clinical projects based on large private and Medicare insurance databases studying demographic trends and perioperative complication rates following knee, shoulder, and elbow surgery. In partnership with Patient IQ, we are developing a comprehensive prospective clinical registry to report on the outcomes of sports medicine procedures in a large, multicenter program.

If you are interested in learning more about our research, or participating in our work, please contact Dr. Petrigliano at Frank.Petrigliano@med.usc.edu or sportsmedresearch@med.usc.edu.

At a Glance

Dr. Frank Petrigliano

  • Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at USC
  • Chief of the Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine
  • Team physician for the LA Kings and USC Athletics
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