The Keck School of Medicine of USC has received more than $4 million to research arthritis.

Keck school researcher Dr. Denis Evseenko has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, and a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Both grants will support research on the development, progression and prevention of osteoarthritis, including pre-clinical research on novel drugs that could regenerate cartilage and slow the progression of the disease.

“Osteoarthritis is a looming public health problem with few solutions on the horizon,” said Evseenko, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery, stem cell and regenerative medicine, in a statement. “We hope to translate our foundational knowledge about joint cartilage development into clinical therapies that would improve millions of lives.”

Osteoarthritis, a joint disorder caused by injuries and everyday wear and tear, is expected to affect nearly 30 percent of people age 45 and older by 2032, according to USC.

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