Montana State University

Free public lecture about the development of novel strategies for treating osteoarthritis to be given Feb. 12, at Montana State University

January 28, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Ron June, an assistant professor in MSU's Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, will give a free public lecture on the development of novel strategies in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The Kopriva Faculty Lecture will be held at 4:10 p.m., Feb. 12, in MSU's Procrastinator Theater. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

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A free public lecture about the development of novel strategies for treating osteoarthritis will be given Friday, Feb. 12, at Montana State University. Ron June, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in the College of Engineering and the recipient of a Kopriva Faculty Lectureship in Biomedical Sciences, will present "Toward Understanding Energy Usage to Improve Osteoarthritis," at 4:10 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building. A reception will follow.

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating, age-related joint disease that affects more than 50 million Americans. During the disease, the cartilage in the joints deteriorates, resulting in painful joints and decreased mobility. Typically, patients experience pain in joints such as the knees and hips. Currently, the best solution is surgical joint replacement which is both expensive and unavailable to many patients.

This seminar will focus on how cartilage and the cells of cartilage respond to mechanical loading, with a focus on energy metabolism. The long-term goal of June’s research is to use therapeutic loading, such as walking, in conjunction with new drugs that target energy metabolism, to improve joint health.

Researchers in June's MSU lab are pursuing two primary areas for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Their first research area, cellular mechanotransduction, examines how cartilage cells respond to mechanical loads caused by forces, such as gravity, and activities, such as walking. For their second research area, synovial joint drug delivery, researchers at the lab are developing a bioactive intra-articular delivery platform to improve injection performance.

June’s lecture is presented by the Kopriva Science Seminar Series, which is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 MSU microbiology graduate. The series features seminars by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers. For more information about this and other Kopriva lectures, please visit www.montana.edu/lettersandscience/kopriva/.

Jody Sanford, jody.sanford@montana.edu or (406) 994-7791