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Musculoskeletal disorders are a major cause of chronic pain, reduced mobility and the loss of quality of life. Alterations in the extracellular matrix during childhood or age-related often lead to chronic musculoskeletal diseases, but the underlying molecular pathomechanisms are often poorly defined.

Principal investigators of the research unit with a complementary expertise in ECM biology will cooperate to define the role of the extracellular matrix in musculoskeletal tissues and to understand how imbalances in the extracellular matrix trigger musculoskeletal disease. The projects were carefully selected based on the scientific importance, research excellence and expertise in basic and translational science to create fruitful synergies across disciplines. Here, principal investigators from Cologne, Münster and Frankfurt with will cooperate to establish this internationally competitive network.

This research unit  now aims to identify novel mechanistic functions of the ECM across diverse musculoskeletal tissues and to develop novel molecular strategies to target musculoskeletal diseases.