Musculoskeletal Genetics and Regenerative Biology Laboratory (MGRBL)

Musculoskeletal Genetics & Regenerative Biology Lab

The Musculoskeletal Genetics and Regenerative Biology Laboratory (MGRBL) is committed to expanding our molecular understanding of the formation and regeneration of the musculoskeletal system. We are particularly focused on tendon and ligament biology with the goal of translating our discoveries into clinical therapies.


Under the direction of Dr. Jenna Galloway, the MGBRL 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 from zebrafish to stem cells, to develop regenerative biology solutions to tendon and ligament injuries.

A major area of research in the MGBRL 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 fate decision, expand the progenitor populations and promote more faithful differentiation into each of these lineages.

Jenna Galloway, PhD, Director of the MGBRL at MassGeneral, Boston

Another focus of the MGBRL 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 MGBRL aims to transform these discoveries into regenerative biology solutions to better heal and repair tendon and ligament injuries.

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

Group Members

The Musculoskeletal Genetics and Regenerative Biology Lab with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston


  • Jenna Galloway, PhD

Lab Manager

  • Nidha Ameerappa

Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Mor Grinstein
  • Marie-Therese Noedl
  • Jessica Chen
  • Xubo Niu


  • Calvin Wang
  • Gabriel Onor

Research Projects

Jenna Galloway, PhD, Director of the MGRBL, MassGeneral, Boston

Current Research Projects

  • Tendon progenitor cell regulation
  • Myo-tendinous and osteo-tendinous junctions
  • Directed differentiation into tendon and ligament tissues

Research Positions

For research positions, please contact Jenna Galloway.


Current publications:

  1. Ray MK, Wiskow O, King MJ, Ismail N, Ergun A, Wang Y, Plys AJ, Davis CP, Kathrein K, Sadreyev R, Borowsky ML, Eggan K, Zon L, Galloway JL, Kingston RE (2016). CAT7 and cat7l Long Non-coding RNAs Tune Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 Function during Human and Zebrafish Development. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(37):19558-72.
  2. Dyment NA, Galloway JL (2015). Regenerative biology of tendon: mechanisms for renewal and repair. Current Molecular Biology Reports, 1(3):124-131.
  3. Shah R*, Nerurkar N*, Wang C, Galloway JL. (2015) Tensile properties of craniofacial tendons in the mature and aged zebrafish. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 33(6):867-73.
  4. Chen JW and Galloway JL (2014). The development of zebrafish tendon and ligament progenitors. Development, 141:2035-2045.
  5. Fujimori S, Novak H, Weissenböck M, Jussila M, Gonçalves A, Zeller R, Galloway J, Thesleff I, and Hartmann C. (2010) Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the dental mesenchyme regulates incisor development by regulating Bmp4. Developmental Biology, 348 (1):97-106.
  6. Blitz E, Viukov S, Sharir A, Shwartz Y, Galloway JL, Pryce BA, Johnson RL, Tabin CJ, Schweitzer R, and Zelzer E. (2009) Bone ridge patterning during musculoskeletal assembly is mediated through SCX regulation of Bmp4 at the tendon-skeleton junction. Developmental Cell, 17(6):861-73.
  7. Galloway JL*, Delgado I*, Ros MA, and Tabin CJ. (2009) A reevaluation of X-irradiation-induced phocomelia and proximodistal limb patterning. Nature, 460(7253):400-4.
  8. Burns CE*, Galloway JL*, Smith AC, Keefe MD, Cashman TJ, Paik EJ, Mayhall EA, Amsterdam AH, Zon LI. (2009) A genetic screen in zebrafish defines a hierarchical network of pathways required for hematopoietic stem cell emergence. Blood, 113(23):5776-82.
  9. Galloway JL and Tabin CJ. (2008) Classic limb patterning models and the work of Dennis Summerbell. Development, 135(16):2683-7.
  10. Galloway JL, Wingert RA, Thisse C, Thisse B, Zon LI. (2008) Combinatorial regulation of novel erythroid gene expression in zebrafish. Experimental Hematology, 36(4):424-32.
  11. Wingert RA, Galloway JL, Barut B, Foott H, Fraenkel P, Axe J, Dooley K, Davidson AJ, Weber G, Paw B, Shaw G, Kingsley P, Palis J, Schubert H, Chen O, Kaplan J, Tübingen 2000 Screen Consortium, Zon LI. (2005) Deficiency of glutaredoxin 5 reveals Fe/S clusters are required for vertebrate haem synthesis. Nature, 436, 1035-1039.
  12. Galloway JL, Wingert RA, Thisse C, Thisse B, Zon LI. (2005) Loss of Gata1 but not Gata2 converts erythropoiesis to myelopoiesis in zebrafish embryos. Developmental Cell, 8(1), 109-116.
  13. Wingert RA, Brownlie A, Galloway JL, Dooley K, Fraenkel P, Axe J, Barut B, Davidson AJ, Noriega L, Sheng X, Zhou Y, Tübingen 2000 Screen Consortium, Zon LI. (2004) The chianti zebrafish mutant provides a model for erythroid-specific disruption of transferrin receptor 1. Development, 131(24), 6225-6235.
  14. Galloway, JL and Zon LI. (2003) Ontogeny of hematopoiesis: examining the emergence of hematopoietic cells in the vertebrate embryo. Current Topics in Developmental Biology, 53,139-58.
  15. Rodriguez CI, Buchholz F, Galloway J, Sequerra R, Kasper J, Ayala R, Stewart AF, Dymecki SM. (2000) High-efficiency deleter mice show that FLPe is an alternative to Cre-loxP. Nature Genetics, 25(2), 139-40.


Contact Us

Musculoskeletal Genetics and Regenerative Biology Laboratory

  • Phone: Contact info below

Jenna Galloway, PhD
Assistant Professor
Center for Regenerative Medicine
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114

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