John B. Lees-Shepard

I have extensive experience identifying key regulators of musculoskeletal disease and leveraging this information to elucidate novel therapeutic targets.

As a postdoc, I managed numerous successful Academic-Industry collaborations aimed at drug discovery and development in rare disease research. In these preclinical trials, I led a dynamic team of scientists to develop and standardize a suite of high-throughput in vitro and medium-throughput in vivo assays to rigorously test prospective therapeutic candidates. These studies identified novel targets for disease intervention, established key adverse effects, and determined the critical window of therapeutic efficacy for distinct treatment modalities, one of which has advanced to Phase III clinical trials.

During my doctoral work I collaborated with researchers at Yale and Michigan State to establish distinct anabolic and catabolic roles for EGFR signaling in osteoarthritis. These pioneering studies provided the conceptual framework for developing solubilized receptor isoforms to inhibit inappropriate EGFR activity in adults. In a complementary approach, we activated anabolic pathways in hESC’s to enhance their regenerative capacity following transplantation into murine arthritis models.

Scientists Discover Cells Responsible For Stone Man Syndrome

Scientists at the University of Connecticut recently published work in Nature Communications (Lees-Shepard et al. 2018, NatComms 9, 471) that describes the discovery of the cell type that is responsible for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a rare genetic disease in […]