Select Page
Office Location:
Biomedical Science Tower East 1643

Mailing address:
BST East 1643
200 Lothrop St
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Phone: 412-728-5003

Michelle Darabant

Other Affiliations:
Department of Pathology, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine


Nam Vo, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Research Interests

The overall goal of Dr. Vo’s research is to understand the role of cellular senescence in promoting spinal aging and low back pain.  Specifically, his lab is interested in elucidating the mechanisms of how ATM drives NF-κB-dependent DNA-damage-induced senescence in the intervertebral disc.

Technique Expertise or Resources to share

Rodent models:  rat model of annular puncture-induced lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration and back pain behavior, Ercc1-/D progeroid mouse model.

Assays: proteoglycan synthesis (35S-sulfate) and collage synthesis (3H-L-proline) assay. 

Tissue cultures: primary human annulus fibrosus, nucleus pulposus, cartilaginous endplate 2D and 3D cell cultures, functional spine unit (FSU) culture in biomechanical bioreactor.


Proteoglycan, cellular senescence, intervertebral disc, low back pain, DNA damage, NFkB, ATM


Lab website:


Lab Members

Gwendolyn Sowa Co-Director
Dong Wang lab manager
Qing, Dong lab technician
Rebecca Kristchil graduate student