Articular cartilage lines the surface of long bones in joints and facilitates joint motion with a nearly frictionless surface that allows the bones to slide against one another. Traumatic cartilage injuries have a limited capacity to heal without medical intervention and can result in debilitating diseases, such as osteoarthritis, which are marked loss of mobility of the affected joint. Tissue engineering is a viable treatment option to repair these injuries. Development of a functional replacement for cartilage ultimately involves manipulating cell behavior so that the correct extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins are assembled and maintained at physiologic ratios and distributions to produce a biological tissue that closely matches native cartilage in its load bearing capacity. My research is focused on investigation 2 key areas of manipulating cell behavior for cartilage tissue regeneration: 1) genetic reprogramming of cells; and 2) cell-matrix interactions.