Robby Bowles

Engineering Musculoskeletal Cell Systems with CRISPR Gene Activators and Repressors



The development of cell therapies, gene therapies, and tissue engineering strategies has the potential to change how we treat and think about musculoskeletal disorders. At the center of these development efforts has been the question of how best to control cells and their function. With the development of novel CRISPR systems, we are now better able to control cell phenotype and function than we have been able to before. In this talk, we will explore my lab’s efforts to better understand the source of back pain using CRISPR gene activators and repressors and our development of novel cell and gene therapies to treat back pain and musculoskeletal disorders more broadly.



Robby D. Bowles is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Utah who studies the development of novel cell and gene therapies for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders with a focus on back pain and CRISPR cell engineering. Dr. Bowles is a trained biomedical engineer, who joined the University of Utah faculty in 2015, after completing his training at Duke University and Cornell University. He has spent 18 years studying back pain from a mechanical and inflammatory perspective and has multiple patents for novel cell and gene therapies for the treatment of back pain. His group seeks to bring a cell engineering approach to both better understand the etiology of back pain and develop new treatment strategies.