Faculty Synopses

Arnold I. Caplan 

Arnold Caplan, PhD, Professor of Biology at Case Western Reserve University and the Director of the Skeletal Research Center, is involved in all of the research and experimentation associated with the center staff and center faculty. During his last 50 years here at Case Western Reserve University, Caplan has become recognized as a prominent member of the research community involved with understanding aspects of the molecular and cellular details of the embryological development of both cartilage and bone.

His biochemical and morphological studies associated with the embryology of hard tissue have been recognized on national and international levels and have resulted in over 300 publications in scholarly journals or books. In particular, his recent studies indicate that some of the essential steps in embryonic bone formation have been incorrectly understood for a number of years. Using monoclonal antibodies and other biochemical probes, he and his collaborators have begun to unravel some of the molecular and cellular control mechanisms involved with both cartilage and bone morphogenesis. In addition, his recent studies associated with the isolation of bioactive factors from adult bone have brought him into the area of bone and cartilage repair. He has collaborative interactions with all of the members of the center faculty and provides the center with its core technology as related to cartilage and bone repair and development.

Joseph M. Mansour 

Joseph M. Mansour, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. His research is concerned with the mechanical behavior of cartilaginous tissues in normal, diseased, and repaired states. He uses both mathematical and experimental models to characterize the tissue. Mechanical characterization is an essential component of the overall understanding of these tissues which perform a mechanical function.

Mary Clare McCorry 

Mary Clare McCorry is the Director for Technology and Process Development at the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI). She has a background researching biomechanical and chemical mechanisms of action for tissue engineering a meniscus replacement as well as previous experience at the FDA leading science policy initiatives in the Center Directors Office at CDRH. At ARMI, she leverages that background to manage the BioFabUSA funded technology development projects across the nation and to lead ARMI’s industry-shaping Technical Working Groups.

Jean F. Welter

Jean F. Welter, MD, PhD, is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Associate Director of the Center, and Director of the Bioreactor core facility in the Skeletal Research Center. His current primary research interests include mesenchymal stem cell-based tissue-engineering and cell-based therapies, particularly of cartilage and bone.

A major line of work focuses on understanding and meeting the metabolic demands of differentiating stem cells, both through optimization of the cell population and through enhancement of mass-transport in the developing engineered cartilage. Other interests include the development of required ancillary technologies for cartilage tissue engineering, such as bioreactors and monitoring and imaging techniques as well as computer modeling, mechanobiology, and bone grafting and bone-graft substitutes.

The Bioreactor Core facility provides bioreactor culture support for CCMEEC and SRC investigators and external collaborators for routine tissue engineering, as well as technical expertise for experimental design and development of project-specific bioreactor systems.