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Renny Franceschi

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Primary Appointment: DENT Periodontics and Oral Med
PubMed Name: Franceschi RT
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 DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH
  Dr. Franceschi’s laboratory is studying signals regulating the formation and functioning of osteoblasts, cells that produce and mineralize the extracellular matrix of bone, and is applying this knowledge to regenerate mineralized tissues for eventual clinical use. Research is focused on mechanisms controlling osteoblast-specific gene expression with particular emphasis on the roles of bone-associated transcription factors, cell-extracellular matrix interactions, hormones, growth/differentiation factors and mechanical force in this process. Specific projects include: 1) studies to elucidate the mechanism through which cell-extracellular matrix interactions, hormonal/growth factor signals and mechanical force activate the osteoblast-specific transcription factor, RUNX2, by MAP kinase and related phosphorylation events while simultaneously suppressing adipogenesis, 2) Analysis of regulatory interactions between RUNX2 and other nuclear proteins in the control of chromatin remodeling, 3) development of gene therapy approaches to stimulate bone regeneration through the controlled expression of BMPs and other morphogenic compounds, 4) circadian control of bone formation, 5) studies on the role of Runx2 and Runx2 phosphorylation in prostate cancer initiation and metastasis.