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Hospital for Special Surgery Research Institute Kyung-Hyun Park-Min, Ph.D., Discovers Therapeutic Targets for Treatment of Patients with Osteoporosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Published in Cellular & Molecular Immunology, this study is the first to identify human-osteoclast specific signatures

Hospital for Special Surgery’s. Kyung-Hyun Park-Min, Ph.D., Lead Researcher, was published in Cellular & Molecular Immunology for her team’s work in identifying human osteoclast-specific signatures as new therapeutic targets for Antisense Oligo (ASO) therapy.

In the study, Dr. Park-Min and her team examined human bone resorbing cells called osteoclasts and identified a new way to specifically target osteoclasts of patents without affecting other cells. Dysregulated osteoclasts led to bone destruction, limited mobility, and pain. Their findings lead them to believe that ASO therapy could be used to target bone diseases associated with hyperactive osteoclasts, including osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is impactful as an estimated 1.3 million Americans have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and suffer from the disease’s debilitating symptoms.

Dr. Park-Min shared, “While regulators of osteoclast formation are well defined, the cell-specific regulatory mechanism controlling osteoclasts remains fairly unknown. By defining cell-specific targets, we can provide novel therapies and improve patient outcomes.”

The team found high expression of osteoclast-specific signature in RA synovial fluid cells by real-time PCR analysis, which provided unprecedented insight that suggests manipulating SE-eRNAs may offer a novel, osteoclast-specific therapeutic strategy for treating dysregulated osteoclast-mediated bone diseases. 

Dr. Park- Min’s team includes HSS Alumni Researchers, Dr. Sungho Park of Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology and Dr. Eun Young Lee of Seoul National University College of Medicine, in the Republic of Korea. Their work is supported by Rosensweig Genomics Center from The Tow Foundation.

About HSS

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 14th consecutive year), No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2023-2024), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2023-2024). In a survey of medical professionals in more than 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics for a fourth consecutive year (2023). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection and complication rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. In addition, more than 200 HSS clinical investigators are working to improve patient outcomes through better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat orthopedic, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The HSS Innovation Institute works to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 165 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.