Lori Setton, Ph.D.'s picture
Setton, Ph.D.
Lucy and Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery
Director of Doctoral Studies, Biomedical Engineering
President, Biomedical Engineering Society

Washington University in St. Louis


In 2015, Lori A. Setton joined Washington University in St. Louis as the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, where she was the William Bevan Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Bass Fellow and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery. She joined the Duke faculty in 1995. She is a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and of the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering and earned a Presidential Early Career Award from Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 1997, as well as several awards for excellence in mentoring. Setton earned master's and doctoral degrees, both in mechanical engineering and biomechanics, in 1988 and 1993, respectively, from Columbia University. She earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University.

Title of Abstract

Regenerative Medicine for Treating Intervertebral Disc Disorders

Presenting Author

Lori A Setton, Ph.D.


Low back pain now ranks as #1 for disease impact in the USA, in part due to intervertebral disc disorders that contribute to pain and disability in affected individuals.  Pathological processes for resident cells of the intervertebral disc, the nucleus pulposus cells, contribute to dysfunctional production of inflammatory cytokines and premature cell death that can drive loss of intervertebral disc height, tissue destruction and disc c herniation.  Inflammatory cytokines produced by resident cells and recruited monocytes are known to mediate cell death as well as the painful symptoms of intervertebral disc herniation, although systemic treatment with inflammatory antagonists (e.g., tumor necrosis factor “blockers”) has failed to date.  In this talk, we will describe our work with engineering substrates and protein-conjugated biomaterials to maintain healthy, biosynthetically active nucleus pulposus cells, factors that can be manipulated to attenuate inflammatory cytokine expression, promote matrix biosynthesis, and control progenitor cell differentiation.  

Research Interests

Lori Setton's research focuses on the role of mechanical factors in the degeneration and repair of soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system, including the intervertebral disc, articular cartilage and meniscus. In the lab, her work focuses on engineering and evaluating novel materials for tissue regeneration and drug delivery to treat musculoskeletal disease.

Author Listing

Lori A Setton, Ph.D.


Washington University in St. Louis