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Devina Purmessur, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Dorothy Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Room 012L
    473 W 12th Avenue
    Columbus, OH 43210
  • 614-292-2731



  • B.S., University of Sheffield UK, 2001
  • M.S., University of Nottingham UK, 2003
  • Ph.D., University of Manchester UK, 2008


Key Honors and Distinctions

  • Arnold and Madaleine Penner 2nd Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium Young Investigator Award, NY (2013)
  • Young Investigator-Member at Large for the Orthopaedic Research Society (2013-2015)
  • Rising Star/ New Investigator at the ORS PSRS 3rd International Philadelphia Spine Research Symposium, Thomas Jefferson University, PA (2015)


RESEARCH AREAS – Purmessur Spinal Therapeutics Lab (Spine Research Institute) (

  • Spinal Disorders; Translational 3D and Animal Model Systems; Intervertebral Disc;  Developmental biology; Mechanobiology; Molecular, Cell & Tissue Engineering;  
  • Graduate student research opportunities for Fall 2018


Dr. Purmessur’s research interests lie in understanding the pathophysiology of spinal disorders specifically examining discogenic back pain as an organ system; how the IVD and surrounding microenvironment (cellular, biochemical and mechanical) in development, growth and aging influence disease pathogenesis and pain with a focus on neurovascular ingrowth and developing suitable in vitro and clinically relevant in vivo animal models for clinical translation of therapeutic strategies. She has collaborations across departments and colleges within Ohio State which include Dr. William Marras, Professor in Integrated systems engineering and Director of the Spine Research Institute, Immunologist Dr. Megan Ballinger in the Department of Internal Medicine, clinicians in the Department of Orthopedics Drs. Safdar Khan, and Elizabeth Yu, and Veterinary neurosurgeon Dr. Sarah Moore. Dr. Purmessur’s work has received support either as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator from the National Institutes’ of Health, The Orthopedic Research Education Fund and the AO Foundation.


  • November, 2019

    ORS Spine Section Early Investigator Award.

  • October, 2013

    Arnold and Madaleine Penner 2nd Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium Young Investigator Award.

  • January, 2012

    Postdoctoral Research Travel Award.

Journal Articles


  • Richards, J.; Tang, S.; Gunsch, G.; Sul, P. et al., 2019, "Mast Cell/Proteinase Activated Receptor 2 (PAR2) Mediated Interactions in the Pathogenesis of Discogenic Back Pain.." Front Cell Neurosci 13, 294 - 294.
  • Tang, S.; Richards, J.; Khan, S.; Hoyland, J. et al., 2019, "Nonviral Transfection With Brachyury Reprograms Human Intervertebral Disc Cells to a Pro-Anabolic Anti-Catabolic/Inflammatory Phenotype: A Proof of Concept Study.." J Orthop Res 37, no. 11, 2389-2400 - 2389-2400.


  • Thompson, K.; Moore, S.; Tang, S.; Wiet, M. et al., 2018, "The chondrodystrophic dog: A clinically relevant intermediate-sized animal model for the study of intervertebral disc-associated spinal pain.." JOR Spine 1, no. 1, e1011 - e1011.
  • Martin, J.T.; Gullbrand, S.E.; Fields, A.J.; Purmessur, D. et al., 2018, "Publication trends in spine research from 2007 to 2016: Comparison of the Orthopaedic Research Society Spine Section and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.." JOR Spine 1, no. 1, e1006 - e1006.
  • Palacio-Mancheno, P.E.; Evashwick-Rogler, T.W.; Laudier, D.M.; Purmessur, D. et al., 2018, "Hyperosmolarity induces notochordal cell differentiation with aquaporin3 upregulation and reduced N-cadherin expression.." J Orthop Res 36, no. 2, 788-798 - 788-798.


  • Wiet, M.G.; Piscioneri, A.; Khan, S.N.; Ballinger, M.N. et al., 2017, "Mast Cell-Intervertebral disc cell interactions regulate inflammation, catabolism and angiogenesis in Discogenic Back Pain.." Sci Rep 7, no. 1, 12492 - 12492.


  • Lai, A.; Moon, A.; Purmessur, D.; Skovrlj, B. et al., 2016, "Annular puncture with tumor necrosis factor-alpha injection enhances painful behavior with disc degeneration in vivo.." Spine J 16, no. 3, 420-431 - 420-431.


  • Lai, A.; Moon, A.; Purmessur, D.; Skovrlj, B. et al., 2015, "Assessment of functional and behavioral changes sensitive to painful disc degeneration.." J Orthop Res 33, no. 5, 755-764 - 755-764.
  • Purmessur, D.; Cornejo, M.C.; Cho, S.K.; Roughley, P.J. et al., 2015, "Intact glycosaminoglycans from intervertebral disc-derived notochordal cell-conditioned media inhibit neurite growth while maintaining neuronal cell viability.." Spine J 15, no. 5, 1060-1069 - 1060-1069.
  • Cornejo, M.C.; Cho, S.K.; Giannarelli, C.; Iatridis, J.C. et al., 2015, "Soluble factors from the notochordal-rich intervertebral disc inhibit endothelial cell invasion and vessel formation in the presence and absence of pro-inflammatory cytokines.." Osteoarthritis Cartilage 23, no. 3, 487-496 - 487-496.


  • Guterl, C.C.; Torre, O.M.; Purmessur, D.; Dave, K. et al., 2014, "Characterization of mechanics and cytocompatibility of fibrin-genipin annulus fibrosus sealant with the addition of cell adhesion molecules.." Tissue Eng Part A 20, no. 17-18, 2536-2545 - 2536-2545.
  • Lu, Y.; Guzman, J.Z.; Purmessur, D.; Iatridis, J.C. et al., 2014, "Nonoperative management of discogenic back pain: a systematic review.." Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 39, no. 16, 1314-1324 - 1314-1324.


  • Purmessur, D.; Cornejo, M.C.; Cho, S.K.; Hecht, A.C. et al., 2013, "Notochordal cell-derived therapeutic strategies for discogenic back pain.." Global Spine J 3, no. 3, 201-218 - 201-218.
  • Purmessur, D.; Guterl, C.C.; Cho, S.K.; Cornejo, M.C. et al., 2013, "Dynamic pressurization induces transition of notochordal cells to a mature phenotype while retaining production of important patterning ligands from development.." Arthritis Res Ther 15, no. 5, R122 - R122.
  • Abbott, R.D.; Purmessur, D.; Monsey, R.D.; Brigstock, D.R. et al., 2013, "Degenerative grade affects the responses of human nucleus pulposus cells to link-N, CTGF, and TGFβ3.." J Spinal Disord Tech 26, no. 3, E86-E94 - E86-E94.


  • Richardson, S.M.; Purmessur, D.; Baird, P.; Probyn, B. et al., 2012, "Degenerate human nucleus pulposus cells promote neurite outgrowth in neural cells.." PLoS One 7, no. 10, e47735 - e47735.
  • Abbott, R.D.; Purmessur, D.; Monsey, R.D.; Iatridis, J.C., 2012, "Regenerative potential of TGFβ3 + Dex and notochordal cell conditioned media on degenerated human intervertebral disc cells.." J Orthop Res 30, no. 3, 482-488 - 482-488.


  • Purmessur, D.; Schek, R.M.; Abbott, R.D.; Ballif, B.A. et al., 2011, "Notochordal conditioned media from tissue increases proteoglycan accumulation and promotes a healthy nucleus pulposus phenotype in human mesenchymal stem cells.." Arthritis Res Ther 13, no. 3, R81 - R81.


  • Iatridis, J.C.; Michalek, A.J.; Purmessur, D.; Korecki, C.L., 2009, "Localized Intervertebral Disc Injury Leads to Organ Level Changes in Structure, Cellularity, and Biosynthesis.." Cell Mol Bioeng 2, no. 3, 437-447 - 437-447.


  • Purmessur, D.; Freemont, A.J.; Hoyland, J.A., 2008, "Expression and regulation of neurotrophins in the nondegenerate and degenerate human intervertebral disc.." Arthritis Res Ther 10, no. 4, R99 - R99.


  • "Characterization and development of a degeneration model for the human cartilage endplate." 2018, Presented at ECM: Disc and Cartilage Regeneration and Repair meeting,
  • "Non-Viral Transfection of Human Nucleus Pulposus Cells with FOXF1 Induces Reprogramming to a Healthy Pro-anabolic Phenotype." 2019, Presented at ORS PSRS International Spine Research Symposium,
  • "Nonviral transfection of human intervertebral disc cells with transcription factors induces reprogramming to a healthy anti-catabolic/inflammatory phenotype with enhanced extracellular matrix accumulation." 2019, Presented at NYU Center for Skeletal and Craniofacial Biology (CSCB) 2019 Symposium,
  • "Characterization and development of an in vitro disease model of the human intervertebral disc cartilage end plate." 2019, Presented at The Orthopedic Research Society Annual Meeting,
  • "Mast Cell (MC)/Proteinase Activated Receptor 2 (PAR2) mediated interactions in the pathogenesis of discogenic back pain." 2019, Presented at The Orthopaedic Research Society Annual meeting,
  • "Development and Validation of a High-throughput Bioreactor System for Studying Mechano-sensing within the Intervertebral disc." 2018, Presented at World Congress of Biomechanics,
  • "Publication trends in spine research from 2007-2016: Comparison of the Orthopaedic Research Society Spine Section and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine." 2018, Presented at The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Annual meeting,
  • "Hypertrophic differentiation of Human Cartilage Endplate Cells Promote Catabolism, inflammation And Angiogenesis." 2017, Presented at Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting,
  • "Lactate as a bioactive ligand in the intervertebral disc." 2018, Presented at Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meeting,
  • "Mast Cells in the Pathogenesis of Painful Intervertebral Disc Degeneration." 2018, Presented at Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meeting,