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November 21, 2011
Dr. Helen Lu describes the challenge facing the tissue engineer today with an analogy: "How do you connect a rope to a wall without any fixation pins or screws?" Surgeons today use mechanical fixation devices, she explains, but for tissue engineers like herself, Lu says the hope is that in the near future, they can better mimic how ligaments and tendons are naturally connected to the bone. She says her long-term goal, and the goal of others in her field, is to eventually be capable of engineering total joint systems. Lu also talks about the value of having researchers interact with clinicians and the role of mentorship in science, saying, "We stand on the shoulders of giants." She thanks her mentors, including Dr. Cato Laurencin, and her students, as well as her collaborators at the NIAMS intramural research program and at private institutions.
This page last reviewed on April 22, 2015