Hicham Drissi, PhD

Each year over $60 billion is spent managing arthritis in nearly 27 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is more common in military service personnel and often related to combat-induced limb injuries resulting in functional impairment and pain. Arthritis represents the 3rd most common health problem among VA patients and stems from damage to cartilage in the joint space. New strategies to replace damaged cartilage hold great promise for reducing pain and increasing function in patients with arthritis.

Hicham Drissi PhD, a musculoskeletal researcher at the Atlanta VA, uses his expertise in musculoskeletal and orthopedic research to devise new strategies to repair and replace damaged cartilage in the joint. Dr. Drissi’s laboratory is testing the ability of stem cells from various sources to regenerate cartilage. If this approach proves safe and effective in pre-clinical evaluations, the long-term objective is to design clinical trials for the safe use of cell-mediated repair of cartilage defects in VA patients. In addition, Dr. Drissi’s team is exploring innovative therapies that can be injected into a joint to inhibit joint pain and inflammation. If successful this program of research can reduce symptoms related to arthritis, restore joint function, and enhance the physical capabilities of patients suffering form this common disorder.

Recent publications related this research:
Gibson JD, O’Sullivan MB, Alaee F, Paglia DN, Yoshida R, Guzzo RM, Drissi H*. Regeneration of Articular Cartilage by Human ESC-Derived Mesenchymal Progenitors Treated Sequentially With BMP-2 and Wnt5a. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2016 Aug 5.pii: sctm.2016-0020.

Maier F, Drissi H, Pierce DM. Shear deformations of human articular cartilage: Certain mechanical anisotropies apparent at large but not small shear strains. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2017 Jan; 65:53-65.

Soki FN, Yoshida R, Paglia DN, Duong LT, Hansen MF, Drissi H*. Articular cartilage protection in Ctsk(-/-) mice is associated with cellular and molecular changes in subchondral bone and cartilage matrix. J Cell Physiol. 2018 May 21.