Richmond faculty pride themselves on being available to students, while also conducting research of their own — often winning awards from prominent organizations to further the work.

This week we’re celebrating biology professor Isaac Skromne, whose research focusing on curing bone diseases won him a $343,881 grant from the National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Skromne, who joined UR in August from the University of Miami, is working with a chemistry colleague at Miami on a research project using transparent zebrafish to explore administering medication directly to bones and find possible solutions for reversing the effects of bone diseases.

“We know there are medications out there that can stop diseases like osteoporosis, but as far as I know, there are no drugs available to reverse calcium that has been lost,” Skromne says. “This research may lead us to regeneration options.”

Skromne says the zebrafish are ideal subjects for exploring targeted treatment. As part of the research, the team, which includes UR undergraduate students, is breeding a special type of zebrafish called Caspers (a nod to the friendly ghost), which remain transparent into adulthood.

“They have regenerative properties, have shown similar mutations to humans regarding bone defects, and their embryos are transparent, so you can see what’s going on inside the body,” he says.

Congratulations, Dr. Skromne! We can’t wait to see where your findings lead you and your team.   

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