Biomedical Engineering Seminars – CD&I Distinguished Lectures

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This event is offered virtually. Please click here to join via Zoom.

"Microbes in Orthopaedic Biomechanics"

Christopher J. Hernandez, Ph.D.
Professor, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University

In orthopaedics, microbes are considered a major threat to the patient health and the success of orthopaedic surgery. However, findings over the past decade have demonstrated that commensal microbes – those that reside in the body naturally, play a major role in human health. The microbiome consists of the microbial organisms that colonize the human body, the vast majority of which occupy the gut. Here I provide an introduction to the microbiome including the state of the art in the field and current concepts related to how the gut microbiome could influence distant organs such as bones and joints. I review recent preclinical and clinical studies linking the gut microbiome to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Additionally, I discuss a preclinical model of periprosthetic joint infection and review recent work from our group showing that modulation of the gut microbiome can influence susceptibility to periprosthetic joint infection. Although much of the work done to date has focused on the effects of the microbiome on disease pathogenesis, the gut microbiome contains over 5 million bacterial genes, each a potential drug target with the potential to be a novel, inexpensive, and innocuous treatment or preventive intervention for musculoskeletal disorders.

Dr. Hernandez is a Professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and an Adjunct Scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. Hernandez's research in biomechanics examines the musculoskeletal system and microscopic organisms. Current projects include understanding how the microbiome influences bone, arthritis and infection of total joint replacements and how bacteria are influenced by mechanical stress and strain.

Faculty Host: Dr. Maysam Nezafati

As part of the Coulter BME Seminar Series, these talks recognize excellence in science, community, diversity, and inclusion.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Joshua Stewart
  • Created:10/11/2021
  • Modified By:Joshua Stewart
  • Modified:10/11/2021


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