Welcome to Sherk Lab

Vanessa Sherk, PhD

Vanessa Sherk, PhD

Assistant Professor of Orthopedics

 
 

My lab studies mechanisms by which over nutrition and sedentary behavior influence bone development and skeletal adaptations to exercise training. Exercise can improve bone mass and quality, in part, through the application of mechanical loads onto the skeleton. However, it is less clear whether exercise has positive benefits on the metabolic function of bone cells, in the manner that is observed in soft tissues. Further, it is unclear whether metabolic dysfunction impairs the skeleton’s ability to appropriately detect and respond to mechanical loading. We take a translational approach that spans from basic to preclinical to clinical research to understand the role of fat trafficking and metabolism in bone to obtaining and maintaining a fracture-resistant skeleton. My lab is also developing novel strategies aimed at preserving musculoskeletal function after limb loss. My research is currently primarily funded through a CCTSI K12 and ASBMR Rising Star Awards.