Carry Musculoskeletal Epidemiology Lab

Lab Director, Patrick Carry, PhD, MS


Active Projects/Research Interests

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS):

AIS is a complex musculoskeletal disorder that is characterized by a three-dimensional spinal curvature. Our lab is involved in ongoing collaborations with the Miller Scoliosis Lab to understand the environmental and genetic determinants of AIS. Active projects include a genome-wide association study in the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine biobank as well as proteomics studies aimed at identifying a plasma proteomic signature that is predictive of AIS curve progression.


Our lab actively collaborates with the Howell Concussion Lab and clinicians at Children’s Hospital Colorado on numerous projects aimed at identifying factors associated with concussion as well as the risk of subsequent musculoskeletal injuries. We are interested in evaluating novel methods for minimizing the risk of secondary complications such as MSK injuries and the development of anxiety/depressive symptoms following a concussion.

Osteoarthritis (OA):

Using genetic data from the UK biobank, we aim to understand the role of inflammation and obesity in the development of end-stage OA. We aim to determine whether injury history modifies the association between inflammation and end-stage OA. We are also involved in ongoing collaborations with the Zuscik lab to evaluate novel OA treatment paradigms.

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D):

The onset of T1D is preceded by a preclinical period, islet autoimmunity (IA) when autoantibodies can be detected in the blood. Not all individuals who develop IA progress to T1D. Some individuals become negative for these autoantibodies altogether. Our lab is interested in understanding why some individuals lose their autoantibodies (reversion) and why others progress to clinical T1D (progression). We believe that IA disease reversion provides unique inferences about T1D protective mechanisms. We aim to use novel multi-omics methods will discover biological mechanisms that occur before progression vs reversion of the IA disease process, an important first step in developing novel prevention strategies.

Methods Evaluation:

Our lab is interested in evaluating and developing new orthopedic clinical research methods. We are also interested in the intersection between MSK epidemiology, omics, and causal inference. We aim to evaluate and develop new methods for addressing biases in omics research. We are interested in bridging the gap between causal inference and high-dimensional omics analytic methods.

Clinical Research Collaborations:

Our lab is actively involved in the Orthopedic Biostatistical Core within the Department of Orthopedics. The Orthopedic Biostatistical Core is a group of doctoral and master’s level analysts who provide innovative analytic and methodological support for clinical investigators. The group supports protocol development, database design, power/sample size calculation, data analysis, research dissemination, and data and safety monitoring. To request a statistical consultation, please complete the following form.

Summer Internship:

Dr. Carry also leads a summer research internship in the Musculoskeletal Research Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado. This 10-week internship provides training in clinical orthopedic research methods. The program also provides outpatient and surgical shadowing opportunities. The program has grown into a nationally competitive program that has educated >90 students. The online application opens in the fall/winter. Learn more information about this competitive undergraduate internship program.

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