Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, MPT
Associate Professor

Dr. Ambrosio
Dr. Ambrosio is Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Atlantic Charter Discovery Center for Musculoskeletal Recovery at the Spaulding Research Institute.

Office Location:
#5304, Building 149,
Boston, MA 02129

Contact Information:
Email: fambrosio@mgh.harvard.edu

Research Interests

The overall focus of my laboratory lies at the intersection of biophysics and regenerative biology. Our multidisciplinary group incorporates principles of quantum mechanics, information theory, and bioengineering to elucidate the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying stem cell function and tissue regenerative cascades. Building from this knowledge, we aim to understand why these mechanisms fail with aging and in the setting of disease so that this information can be applied towards the development of novel clinical therapeutics and rehabilitative paradigms.

I have been credited with founding a new field: Regenerative Rehabilitation. Regenerative Rehabilitation is defined as "the application of rehabilitation protocols and principles together with regenerative medicine therapeutics toward the goal of optimizing functional recovery through tissue regeneration, remodeling, or repair." (Rando and Ambrosio, Cell Stem Cell, 2018). In the 12 years since we first published a call to the field for the integration of regenerative medicine with rehabilitative science (Ambrosio et al, Phys Ther, 2010; Ambrosio et al, Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 2010), the Regenerative Rehabilitation paradigm has been extended to multiple models, including, for example, cartilage degeneration, stroke, and spinal cord injuries. In recognition of its potential to impact clinical practice, Regenerative Rehabilitation was cited in the 2016 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Plan as, "an example of actions that will help meet the strategic goals of the NIH institutes and centers that support rehabilitation research." As a further testament to the importance of this field of inquiry, the NIH awarded $10M to support formation of the Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research & Training, for which I serve as the lead director. My efforts have also been extensively recognized internationally, and I serve as Chair of the Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society Regenerative Rehabilitation Thematic Group and Founding Director of the International Consortium for Regenerative Rehabilitation, which includes 16 institutions representing North America, Europe, and Asia.

Selected Publications

  1. Stearns-Reider K; D'Amore A; Beezhold K; Rothrauff B; Cavalli L; Wagner W; Vorp D; Tsamis A; Shinde S; Zhang C; Barchowsky A; Rando T; Tuan R; Ambrosio F*. Aging of the skeletal muscle extracellular matrix drives a stem cell fibrogenic conversion. Aging Cell. 2017. March 30. 10.1111/acel.12578
  2. Sahu A; Mamiya H; Shinde SN; Cheikhi A; Winter LL; Vo NV; Stolz D; Roginskaya V; Tang WY; St Croix C; Sanders LH; Franti M; Van Houten B; Rando TA; Barchowsky A; Ambrosio F*. Age-related declines in ?-Klotho drive progenitor cell mitochondrial dysfunction and impaired muscle regeneration. Nature Communications. 2018. Nov 19;9(1):4
  3. Rando T & Ambrosio F. Regenerative Rehabilitation: Applied Biophysics Meets Stem Cell Therapeutics. Cell Stem Cell. 2018. 1;22(3): 306-309
  4. Willett N; Boninger ML; Miller LJ; Alvaerez L; Aoyama T; Bedoni M; Brix KA; Chisari C; Christ G; Dearth G; Dyson-Hudson TA; Evans CH; Goldman SM; Gregory K; Gualerzi A; Hart J; Ito A; Kuroki H; Loghmani MT; Mack DL; Malanga GA; Noble-Haeusslein L; Pasquina P; Roche JA; Rose L; Stoddart MJ; Tajino J; Terzic C; Topp KS; Wagner WR; Warden SJ; Wolf SL; Xie H; Rando TA; Ambrosio F. Taking the next steps in Regenerative Rehabilitation: Establishment of a new interdisciplinary field. Archives PMR, 2020. 101(5): 917-923
  5. Clemens Z; Sivakumar S; Pius A; Sahu A; Shinde S; Mamiya H; Luketich N; Cui J; Dixit P; Hoeck JD; Kreuz S; Franti M; Barchowsky A; Ambrosio F*. The biphasic and age-dependent impact of Klotho on hallmarks of aging and skeletal muscle function. eLife, 2021
  6. Sahu A; Clemens Z; Fitz NF; Shinde SN; Pius A; Bhatia A; Sivakumar S; Lovelakar M; Piccolini S; Carlomagno C; Gualerzi A; Bedoni M; Van Houten B; Lefterov I; Barchowsky A; Koldamova R; Ambrosio F*. Regulation of aged skeletal muscle regeneration by circulating extracellular vesicles. Nature Aging, Dec 06, 2021
  7. Iijima H; Gilmer G; Wang K; Sivakumar S; Evans C; Yusuke M; Ambrosio F*. Meta-analysis integrated with multi-omics data analysis to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms of age-related knee osteoarthritis in mice. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, accepted.