Growth factor holds promise for treating disk disease

Kappa Delta Young Investigator focused on treating IVD at molecular level

Madeleine Lovette & Terry Stanton

Intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration leading to chronic back pain is a common musculoskeletal condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Current treatment options—both surgical and nonsurgical—focus on easing the symptoms of IVD degeneration. But Xudong Joshua Li, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, wanted to find out if a way could be found to address the pathologic processes that occur early in the course of the disease. His studies on “Growth and Differentiation Factor-5 (GDF-5) Modulation in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration” earned him the 2012 Young Investigator Kappa Delta Award.

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