Explore this laboratory


Under the direction of Jenna Galloway, PhD, the Musculoskeletal Genetics & Developmental Biology Lab (MGDBL; also known as The Galloway Lab) uses genetic and chemical screening techniques to identify essential regulators of musculoskeletal biology. The laboratory specifically focuses on understanding the complex biology of tendons and ligaments, and employs a multidisciplinary approach, using different model systems to develop innovative new solutions for treating tendon and ligament injuries.

Research Projects

Tendon and ligament progenitor cell regulation and directed differentiation

A major area of research in the MGDBL aims to identify the cues that direct progenitor cells to become mature tendons and ligaments. During embryogenesis, progenitor cell populations give rise to cartilage or tendon tissues in our limbs, head and spine. We are interested in elucidating the pathways that regulate this cell fate decision in order to expand the progenitor populations and promote more faithful differentiation into each of these lineages.

Myotendinous and osteotendinous junctions

Another focus of the MGDBL is on understanding the critical factors that coordinate the attachments between muscle, tendon, and bone. By combining live-imaging and high-throughput screening approaches, our goal is to identify the molecules and cellular behaviors governing these processes. In the long term, the MGDBL aims to transform these discoveries into regenerative biology solutions to better heal and repair tendon and ligament injuries.

The MGDBL is an active member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and is located within the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) at Mass General. The CRM is a multidisciplinary center focused on integrating our understanding of biological processes with the development of novel clinical therapies.

  • Tendon progenitor cell regulation
  • Myotendinous and osteotendinous junctions
  • Directed differentiation into tendon and ligament tissues

Research Positions

For research positions, please contact Jenna Galloway.

Selected Publications

  • Tsai, S.L., Villaseñor, S., Shah, R.R. et al. Endogenous tenocyte activation underlies the regenerative capacity of the adult zebrafish tendon. npj Regen Med 8, 52 (2023).
  • Nödl MT, Tsai SL, Galloway JL. The impact of Drew Noden's work on our understanding of craniofacial musculoskeletal integration. Dev Dyn. 2022 Mar 26. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.471.
  • Tsai SL, Nödl MT, Galloway JL. (2020) Bringing Tendon Biology to Heel: Leveraging Mechanisms of tendon development, healing, and regeneration to advance therapeutic strategies. Dev Dyn 2021 Mar;250(3):393-413.
  • Niu X, Subramanian A, Hwang TH, Schilling TF, Galloway JL. Tendon Cell Regeneration Is Mediated by Attachment Site-Resident Progenitors and BMP Signaling. Curr Biol. 2020 Sep 7;30(17): 3277-3292.
  • Chen JW, Niu X, King MJ, Noedl MT, Tabin CJ, Galloway JL. The mevalonate pathway is a crucial regulator of tendon cell specification. Development. 2020 June 24;147(12): dev185389.

In the News

10/24/2023  |   Benchpress
How a small fish could lead to better strategies to repair tendon tears
Jenna Galloway, PhD, director of The Musculoskeletal Genetics & Developmental Biology Lab, is using zebrafish models to find new treatment strategies for tendon injuries.