b'New Pathways, New DiscoveriesChris W. Ward, PhD,Associate Professor in Orthopaedics, is a muscleWhile at the School of Nursing, he physiologist. I study the physiology of muscle, both skeletal muscle andrecalls, a collaboration between the heart., he explains. While he is tenured in the School of Nursing, Dr.myself and W. Jonathan Lederer, Wards research program has been located in the SOM Department ofMD, PhD (Director of the UM Orthopaedics since 2015. As with other researchers in the Department,Center for Biomedical Engineering Dr. Ward has found a welcoming and supportive research environment& Technology) led to fundamental open to innovation and collaboration. My research focus on musclediscoveries in both the heart and function in health and disease aligns with the departments researchskeletal muscle that revealed how and clinical interests he says. The arrangement that brought me tothese tissues respond and adapt Orthopaedics, he says, represents a forward-thinking investment thatto mechanical stress. In a series has begun to pay dividends. of publications, they characterized a mechanotransduction pathway in each tissue that accounted for important signaling in healthy muscle, he says. Moreover, they also discovered that in disease, this mechanotransduction pathway was in excess where it drove pathology in heart failure and muscular dystrophy.With these foundational discoveries and the relocation to Orthopedics, Dr Ward was primed for further success. Soon after my arrival, Joseph Stains, PhD, Associate Professor of Orthopaedics, and I began to collaborate on a project to understand how bone responds to mechanical stress, he says. Dr. Stains, a bone molecular biologist, was already studying the signaling Associate Professors Joe Stains and Chris Ward are closepathways that control bone collaborators on the study of mechanical stress on bone. remodeling. Integrating our labs individual expertise on this new topic was an exciting opportunity, says Dr. Ward.30CONNECTING WITH QUALITY: A Renewed Focus on Value-Based Care'