Welcome to the Feeley Lab

Developing novel injury and repair models
Stem cells found within rotator cuff muscle can be stimulated into fibrotic tissue (red) or fat tissue (green) depending on the stimulus. Researchers are evaluating tools to improve the function of these cells to improve outcomes after rotator cuff repair.

Dr. Brian Feeley's research lab, which is located on the UCSF/VA Mission Bay campus, performs research on common shoulder and knee problems.  He has collaborated with Xuhui Liu, MD and Hubert Kim, MD and researchers at UCSF on developing models to study the molecular mechanisms and cellular mechanisms that are responsible for the development of muscle atrophy after rotator cuff tears.

The focus of our research is to understand the cellular and molecular changes that occur within the muscle after different injuries, but particularly rotator cuff tears. We have developed novel injury and repair models to study the acute and chronic effects of rotator cuff injury on the important signal transduction pathways that govern muscle cell size and stem cell fate within the muscle.  We also focus on understanding how muscle injury patterns affect the stem cell populations within the muscle (satellite cells, FAP cells) in an effort to determine treatment strategies that would improve muscle function after orthopedic injuries. 

Our recent research has focused on understanding the interaction of the TGF-B and BMP signaling pathways and how they affect changes in the FAP stem cell population after rotator cuff injury. We are currently evaluating the relationship between these signaling pathways, beige adipose tissue (BAT), and FAP cells since both stem cell populations share similar markers of expression BAT has an important role in energy balance, and may produce local growth factors such as IGF-1 that can promote a healing environment for muscle. The emergence of BAT is of particular importance in RC injury given the clinical significance of FI. Our goal over the next five years is to expand our understanding of how these resident stem cells function in our mouse model of RC tears, and study these cell populations in patients undergoing RC repair.

The lab group has published 20 papers and book chapters related to muscle degeneration and rotator cuff injury over the last six years, with presentations at multiple national and international meetings. The lab is collaborative group consisting of staff scientists, research assistants, medical students, residents, college students, and high school students.

Dr. Feeley has published more than 120 peer reviewed articles, review studies, and book chapters, and a book on rotator cuff injuries. He has also received the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Young Investigator Award for his research, and in 2012, he received the Western Orthopaedic Young Investigator Award.Dr. Feeley research is currently funded by the Nationa Institute of Health (NIH) and the OREF. He was also the 2014 Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award winner from the OREF and Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS).