Purmessur Walter, Devina


My research training and diverse scientific background in musculoskeletal pathophysiology has provided me with a unique experimental skill set – combining cell, molecular and immune biology with biomedical engineering that enables me to investigate highly translational questions and mechanisms while grounded in fundamental basic science. I am currently an Assistant Professor (Tenure track) in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, and Orthopaedics at the Ohio State University. I also work closely with my clinical collaborators, spine surgeon Dr. Safdar Khan and veterinary neurosurgeon, Dr. Sarah Moore. My current interests lie in understanding the intervertebral disc (IVD) joint as an organ system while simultaneously developing suitable in vitro and in vivo animal models for clinical translation to identify potential non-additive biological strategies for back pain. During my PhD/industry studentship I trained with Dr. Judith Hoyland at Manchester University and Dr Kinloch at Pfizer, (Pain therapeutics) on neuronal/IVD in vitro models. My postdoctoral training with Bioengineer Dr. James Iatridis utilized structure and symptom-modifying developmental based strategies to treat discogenic back pain and in vivo rodent pain models to study disease mechanisms, assess mechanics and screen therapeutics that target pain. The specific mechanism’s underlying chronic low back pain are unknown however resolving this clinical problem is a research priority. There exists an unmet clinical need where the clinicians to not have access to the necessary tools and non-addictive biologics to treat chronic low back pain. Our major goal is to address this critical research gap through engineering clinically relevant human and animal models and minimally invasive therapeutics.