b'Solving the Mysteries of BoneIn the research lab ofJoseph Stains, PhD,Associate Professor ofchemical signal capable of directing Orthopaedics, a driving question is how bone cells organize and directnew bone formation, Dr. Stains new bone formation. The fascinating thing, he says, is that the cellsexplains.(osteocytes) that dictate what happens on the surface of bones areThe idea is that the osteocyte embedded deep in the bony structure itself. Exactly how this happenscells cytoskeleton, the network remains mysterious. Two interrelated goals of Dr. Stains research teamof interlinking protein filaments are to understand how bone determines where and when to make newthat form the scaffold that gives bone and why the ability to create and repair bone diminishes with age.the cell its shape, is the medium that actually senses and transmits It is well known that bone isdetermine whether to grow moremechanical load signals. When you mechanoresponsive, meaning thatbone has proven elusive. Wepush on the cell, its cytoskeleton it grows in response to impactrecently uncovered a way thatresists the compressive force, and loading. However, how boneosteocytes sense a mechanicalsays Dr. Stains. The load on the cells actually sense the load andforce and translate it into acell cytoskeleton activates a signaling pathway that tells the cell it is under load and that it should remodel its local environment to make new bone. These findings connect a lot of dots and identify new targets related to how mechanical signals converge on known regulators of bone formation.INSPIRED CURIOSITYThis line of research was inspired and driven by a curious graduate student, James Lyons, who was beginning his PhD in Dr. Stains lab.When deciding on his project, he saw a poster that fellow researcher in the Department of Orthopaedics, Chris Ward, PhD, had hanging up in the hallway between their labs that described how muscle senses Associate Professor Joe Srains is studying the possible ways osteocytes direct new bone formation.28CONNECTING WITH QUALITY: A Renewed Focus on Value-Based Care'