Center for Regenerative Sports Medicine

The primary focus of the Center for Regenerative Sports Medicine (CRSM) at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute is to identify, characterize, and clinically translate the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal tissues after injuries, disease and aging. The CRSM is comprised of an internationally diverse group of investigators that apply a large battery of techniques to isolate, characterize, and clinically model the use of muscle-derived cells (MDCs).  

The laboratories divide their attention among a variety of areas of specialization that utilize these MDCs in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications for the treatment of a myriad of conditions including:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy,
  • Critical sized long bone and cranial defects,
  • Acutely injured and osteoarthritic articular cartilage (AC) lesions,
  • Injured ligaments and meniscal tears, 
  • Compartment syndrome in injured limbs involving damage to the muscles, nerves, circulatory, and lymphatic system vasculature, and
  • Infarct injured and cardiomyopathic hearts.  

CRSM is also involved in investigating a variety of agents (Losartan, Suramin, Relaxin, Decorin, γ-Interferon) to prevent the formation of fibrosis and promote muscle fiber regeneration following muscle injuries and disease.  CRSM is also studying the effects of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on muscle, bone, and AC healing and investigating ways to inhibit factors within the PRP that may have deleterious effects on tissue regeneration and repair, such as TGF-β1 for muscle healing and VEGF for articular cartilage repair. We are also working with biomaterial engineers to improve the sustained release of critical growth factors to aid in tissue engineering protocols. For example, the use of a novel growth factor delivery system, which is formed by the self-assembly of native heparin and a biocompatible polycation, poly(ethylene argininylaspartate diglyceride) (PEAD), can bind and protect the growth factor BMP2 from degradation and then releases it slowly and persistently. This material, when used in combination with MDCs, has been used to successfully regenerate bone and eliminates the need to use a viral vector for the sustained release of growth factors; hence, there is real promise that it could readily be translated into clinical use.

Other CRSM members are exploring the use of Notch activation as a way of creating an artificial stem cell niche in the hostile microenvironment of diseased and injured musculoskeletal tissues.

Another exciting area of great interest at CRSM involves the use of stem cells to alleviate, and even reverse, the symptoms of aging. We recently completed a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant that investigated the role that the stem cell niche plays in aging, which paved the way to obtaining another NIH grant entitled: “Cell Autonomous and Non-Autonomous Mechanisms of Aging.”

The inter-disciplinary cooperative nature of CRSM provides for an excellent forum to perform basic research and translate this research into a clinical reality. The CRSM is currently funded by multiple NIH and Department of Defense applications.

Major Research Interests of the CRSM:

  • Adult stem cell isolation from skeletal muscle, fat and blood vessels and their phenotypic and genotypic characterization.
  • Alleviation of the muscular degeneration associated with Muscular Dystrophy through stem cell transplantation.
  • Bone regeneration through stem cell based regenerative medicine application.
  • Cardiac and skeletal muscle injury repair, regeneration, and fibrosis prevention via stem cell transplantation and the delivery of pro-angiogenic and anti-fibotic agents.
  • Peripheral nerve regeneration using stem cells and venous grafts.
  • Stem cell transplantation to delay the phenotypic onset of aging.
  • Tissue engineering applications for the repair of intra-articular tissues such as articular cartilage, ligaments and meniscus.

Job Postings

Postdoctoral Fellowship | Center for Regenerative Sports Medicine (CRSM) | Vail, Colorado, USA

Stem Cells, Anti-aging, Orthobiologics, Tissue Engineering, Musculoskeletal research and repair, Technology development and Clinical translation.

The Center for Regenerative Sports Medicine department at the world-renowned Steadman Philippon Research Institute, designated as US Olympic National Medical Center is seeking an energetic molecular biologist /biomedical engineer to join the highly productive and dedicated team of Dr. Johnny Huard’s laboratory in Vail, CO, USA.

This is a permanent, full-time, exempt position with benefits.

Available immediately.


  • Take a lead role in ongoing research projects and develop novel research ideas aligned with the broad goals of our laboratory and collaborators.
  • Development of research proposals and participation in grant writing and submissions
  • Travel to national and international meetings for research presentations and networking with experts in the field
  • Academic publishing in top peer-reviewed journals
  • Travel to Houston, TX and/or Fort Collins, CO to conduct invivo/animal experiments
  • Generation of intellectual property: Work with SPRI's Innovation staff to protect any design, method, title etc. created/resulted from research work for potential patent, copyright, trademark, etc.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned



  • The applicant must preferably be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, but foreign nationals are also encouraged to apply. The applicant must be PhD graduate and/or MD, PhD with prior experience in cell culture/cell biology/ cell signaling, biochemistry, strong molecular biology background (DNA/RNA/Protein analysis by PCR, quantitative real-time PCR, Southern/Northern/Western blotting; basic cloning, viral vectors, etc). Flowcytometry, Immunohistochemistry and serum/plasma/PRP/BMAC growth factor analysis, etc.).              Familiarity with bioinformatics and large dataset analysis is a plus. A willingness to work with mice/rats/rabbits is a prerequisite for this position. Willing to travel to conduct animal experiments, perform other related duties as assigned, efficiently and independently.
  • The successful candidate will have research training specifically designed to promote a research career addressing problems in musculoskeletal tissues, aging and sports medicine and provide opportunities to enhance the trainees’ research training with a clinical perspective. The successful candidate is expected to generate high impact publications, which should provide the postdoctoral fellows with an excellent opportunity for further career development.


  • Must be adaptable to unexpected changes and possess strong organizational, interpersonal, verbal, and technical writing skills.
  • Self-starter with willingness to make decisions independently and solve problems creatively within job scope.
  • Ability to manage and complete multiple projects simultaneously while working under stressful conditions with tight deadlines.


  • Must have strong work ethic and attention to detail, willing to learn and work with others in a team and collaborative environment consisting of biomedical scientists & engineers, surgeons and other staff.
  • Ability to handle confidential/sensitive information and exercise good professional judgment.
  • Works effectively with patients, researchers, clinicians, and support staff of varying backgrounds.
  • Translate the organization's vision and values into day-to-day activities, behaviors, and decisions.
  • Ability to represent SPRI in a mature and professional manner.

Qualified applicants should submit the following by email to:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Names and contact details of three references
  • Cover letter summarizing current and future research interests

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