UCSF MSK Research

Improving research to advance discovery and clinical impact

Challenges in Musculoskeletal Research

The UCSF MSK Center is leading collaborative initiatives with our partners and affiliated faculty to tackle four primary challenges in musculoskeletal research: 


The unmet promise of MSK tissue regeneration 

Data Science

The need for data science solutions in MSK biology, mechanics, and medicine 

Systems Biology

The unknown but emerging role of MSK tissues in systemic health, aging, and disease

Health Disparities

The disproportionate impact of MSK disease on women and communities of color  

Solutions to Improve Musculoskeletal Health

The UCSF MSK Center support investigators in solving challenges in musculoskeletal research

Tackling the challenges in musculoskeletal research will provide solutions to the overall four problems in musculoskeletal health. 

Reduce Burden of Musculoskeletal Disease 

  • Integrating strengths in musculoskeletal imaging, epidemiology, and clinical research with basic research to support discovery and translation.
  • The Core Center for Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine (CCMBM) is an integral component of the UCSF MSK Center, serving as a campus resource to support translational research in the musculoskeletal field. The CCMBM fosters partnership between scientists with the Precision Medicine initiative to harness large clinical and multi-omics data. 

Improve Performance and Regeneration 

  • Elucidating the developmental differentiation of muscle, cartilage, tendon, bone, and disc, as well as the hematopoietic niche for developing new strategies for functional restoration in response to injury, aging, or disease.
  • Integrating basic and translational partnerships with Health Innovation via Engineering (HIVE) and Institute for Regenerative Medicine to provide the basis for therapies to improve musculoskeletal performance.

Extend Health Span 

  • Improving musculoskeletal health by understanding the role of musculoskeletal tissues in metabolism and aging.
  • Foster programmatic alignment of musculoskeletal and aging investigators to accelerate discovery of mechanisms to improve health span. 

Combat Common Systemic Diseases through Improved Musculoskeletal Health 

  • Unlocking the mechanisms of how musculoskeletal correlates with cardiovascular, metabolic, and cognitive and reproductive funtion will improve musculoskeletal health.
  • Collaboration with the Diabetes Center, the Center for Reproductive SciencesImmunoX, and others will reveal the role of musculoskeletal endocrinology and mechanobiology in systemic health and disease and lead to new preventions, diagnostics, and therapies. 

The UCSF MSK will improve the diversity of STEM pipelines, the speed and impact of musculoskeletal discovery, and the health of all people.