Giuliana E. Salazar-Noratto

Graduate Research Assistant


Giuli is an NSF GFRP doctoral fellow in the Walter H. Coulter Biomedical Engineering Department, pursuing a joint Ph.D. in the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a certificate in International Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2012. Giuli has research and industry experience in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology, and is proficient in common laboratory techniques, programming languages, and software analyses. Her previous work focused on vascular cellular biomechanics, device design, and genetics. Giuli's current research interest is musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, degenerative joint disorders, articular cartilage regeneration, and iPSC-based in vitro disease modeling.

Outside of her studies, Giuli enjoys traveling, painting, dancing and learning different languages.

Current Research

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of disability, affecting over 50 million people worldwide. Although most frequently observed in older adults, OA imposes a larger and longer-term burden in the healthcare system when it affects the working or pediatric populations. Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans (JOCD) affects children and adolescents, and often progresses to early onset OA. JOCD initially involves the formation of an avascular lesion in the subchondral bone with secondary effects in the overlaying articular cartilage. During late stages of this disorder, the lesion becomes unstable and the necrotic osteochondral fragment separates. The etiology of JOCD is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of factors such as biomechanical overuse and genetic predisposition. Unfortunately, previous research has been primarily focused on retrospective clinical studies, thus hampering the development of effective therapeutics for this disorder and its progression to OA. The overall objective of my thesis is to elucidate the pathophysiology of JOCD and to explore venues to prevent its progression to OA. In addition, I study treatment options when OA has already developed.

Additional Info

Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University

Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience