Dr. Maerz’s primary research area is the pathogenesis of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) following joint injury, with a specific focus on the synovium and injury-induced molecular mechanisms that modulate the onset of joint degeneration. The Maerz laboratory has a strong translational focus, and each major research platform aims to discover druggable targets to develop novel, disease-modifying treatments for PTOA. Given the expanding incidence of joint injury and the rapidly-growing burden of osteoarthritis and its associated musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal comorbidities, a critical need exists to alter the natural history of tissue degeneration following joint injury. Given the complex phenotype of PTOA, the Maerz lab employs multi-faceted assessments to discern in vivo molecular processes, gene and protein expression and content, pain sensitization, pathologic tissue remodeling, and cellular composition. A strong focus is placed on quantitative assessments of PTOA disease severity to minimize or eliminate subjective, qualitative evaluations, and quantitative imaging is used heavily to augment histological and molecular read-outs.