UCSF Musculoskeletal Center receives prestigious NIH T32 award to train the next-generation of MSK researchers, clinician-scientists


Michael Davies, MD, a member of the Feeley-Liu Lab at UCSF, performs research on muscle tissue quality and its impact on common problems, including rotator cuff tears, knee pain, limb immobilization, joint contractures, and low back pain. The T32 award that the Department received from the NIH will be used to recruit and train junior musculoskeletal scientists and resident physicians who will pursue academic careers in orthopaedic research and team science, and, in doing so, advance the field in fundamental ways.


SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 22, 2023) -- The UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is pleased announce that the UCSF Musculoskeletal Center has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) to support the new UCSF Musculoskeletal Training Program. 

The $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) will train basic and clinical scientists to carry out cutting-edge research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal diseases. For the Department, this grant will fund research training and career development activities for 11 postdoctoral fellows and resident physicians for up to two (2) years each. 

Musculoskeletal diseases, which affect more than half of the United States population age 18 and over and nearly three-quarters age 65 and over, are among the most debilitating nonfatal health conditions. The causes of these diseases remain poorly understood, and there is a need for better therapies.

“The MSK Training Program brings together 35 outstanding faculty mentors from across 10 UCSF academic and clinical departments,” said Tamara Alliston, PhD, Director of the UCSF MSK Center. “These faculty bring multi-disciplinary expertise spanning research areas ranging from tissue regeneration and neuroscience to molecular physiology and artificial intelligence.”

“We are grateful for the NIH/NIAMS recognition and support,” said Aaron Fields, PhD, Director of the MSK Training Program. “This grant will enable us to pursue our mission of preparing postdocs and residents for a lifetime of scholarly pursuits that lead to in-depth understanding and improved care for patients with MSK diseases.”

“This award is an incredible accomplishment for the Department,” said Dr. Thomas P. Vail, chair of the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “It reflects the world-class, collaborative scientific training environment at UCSF, and it is a testament to the awesome impact these faculty mentors have on their trainees’ future careers. Congratulations.”