Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes significant pain and disability. Given the increasing prevalence of OA in the aging population around the world, its public health impact and costs will affect all societies in the future. The process of cartilage destruction is progressive, and currently available therapies are not able to stop it. Chondrocyte activation that results in the breakdown of articular cartilage is a key event in the pathogenesis of arthritis. Dr. Sampen’s project will analyze chondrocytes and their response to selected growth factors and cytokines to better understand the mechanisms of cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis.