Innovative Therapeutic Strategies to Cure of Musculoskeletal Disease

through the development of cellular therapy, target delivery system, tissue engineering, preclinical imaging, and therapeutic medical devices. 






Hongsik Cho, Ph.D, MBA 
Associate Professor 
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering 
UTHSC Coleman Building, A313 
(901) 523-8990 (ext-2543) 

Research interests:The primary focus of Cho's lab research efforts has been on utilizing various tissue engineering methods to study musculoskeletal diseases including osteoarthritis. Some aspects of his previous research interests include the direct application of mechanical stimulation on cartilage tissue and engineering surgical implants for cartilage repair using stem cells or primary cell culture techniques. Dr. Cho's current research endeavor is to deliver beneficial drugs into the target lesion using a nanosome delivery system. 

Post-doctoral Fellow, Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery, UTHSC, Memphis, TN 2003-2005 
MBA, Business, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA 2009 
PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Ajou University, South Korea, 2003 
MS, Medicine, Ajou University, South Korea, 2000 
MS-Exchange student, Biomedical Engineering, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, 1999
BS, Biomedical Engineering, Kon-Kuk University, South Korea, 1997

Brief Research Summary: 
Dr. Cho and the team’s long-term goals include developing and commercializing better treatments that can be directly applied in the clinical setting of biomedical and orthopedic healthcare. My research revolves around a compelling objective: harnessing the potential of targeted nanoparticle drug delivery platforms for stem cell pre-treatment. By focusing on impeding the advancement of musculoskeletal disease, my work seeks to develop a novel approach that could revolutionize the management of this condition. Through comprehensive investigations using animal models, I aim to unveil the therapeutic efficacy of this strategy and subsequently pave the way for its translation into clinical applications.   

Dr. Cho’s research encompasses the following key areas:

  • Investigation on the effects of mechanical stimuli in musculoskeletal cells such as cartilage and disc cells.
  • Development of tissue engineering techniques and scaffold for cartilage and disc regeneration.
  • Development of the targeted drug delivery system.
  • Establishment of technical platforms for small animal imaging and animal model of arthritis-related disease.
  • Define of the therapeutic mechanism of the exogenous cells and development of biological intervention technique for cell therapy.


He has over 45 journal articles, 3 patent applications, 100+ presentations, and invited lectures. He has mentored over 35 students and postdocs (including undergraduate, graduate, medical and dental students, postdocs, and orthopaedic residents). He is active in several professional organizations such as the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) and Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society (KTERMS). He also has held numerous scientific advisor and consultant positions at research institutes and universities globally. As a principal investigator, Dr. Cho's projects have been supported for his research by the VA MERIT, Arthritis Foundation, Oxnard Foundation, William and Ella Owens Medical Research Foundation, and UT Research Foundation. Also, he has served as a co-investigator on numerous projects funded by the NIH and VA systems


UT Research Foundation Technology Maturation Award, 2020
Oxnard Foundation Research Award, 2017        
Arthritis Foundation Scientific Discovery Award, 2016  
William and Ella Owens Medical Research Award, 2014
Ruth Kirschstein Nat. Res. Service Award Recipient (NRSA: T32), 2009
Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP), VA Medical Center, 2008        
Arthritis Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award, 2007