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Fabrisia Ambrosio

University of Pittsburgh
Pitt/McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
PhD in Rehabilitation Science & Technology

Dr. Fabrisia Ambrosio is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh, and Director of Rehabilitation for UPMC International. She holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Physical Therapy, Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering, Environmental Health & Occupational Safety, as well as Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, and she serves on the Executive Committee of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Ambrosio’s research has the long-term goal of developing Regenerative Rehabilitation approaches to improve the skeletal muscle healing and functional recovery. Her laboratory investigates the underlying mechanisms by which mechanical and electrical signals can be used to enhance donor and/or host stem cell functionality in mouse and human models. Her research has received numerous awards, including, most recently, “best paper of the year” awards both in 2017 and 2018.

Dr. Ambrosio is committed to programmatic leadership in the field of Regenerative Rehabilitation. She is the Founding Director of the International Consortium for Regenerative Rehabilitation, the Founding Course Director for the Annual International Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation and co-director of the NIH-funded Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research & Training.


Quantum Biology: a novel approach to understanding some of biology’s greatest mysteries
In 1944, Erwin Schrödinger asked the question, “What is life?” In his book of the same title, Schrödinger posited that the very quantum principles that direct the behaviors of objects at the level of the universe, such as quantum entanglement, superposition, and electron tunneling, also apply within the physical boundaries of living organisms. Historically, quantum phenomena were thought to exist only at temperatures approaching absolute zero. However, accumulating evidence over the past two decades indicates that the quantum world persists within the warm and wet environment of living tissues. For instance, quantum tunneling has been proposed to be involved in enzymatic reactions, olfaction, and DNA mutations; quantum coherence in photosynthesis; and quantum entanglement in avian migration. And yet, to date, a mechanistic understanding into how quantum phenomena prevail and affect cellular functioning is lacking. Our laboratory is developing organ-on-chip models to interrogate the impact of quantum phenomena on biological processes, including the wound healing cascade. Looking forward, we anticipate that tapping into the quantum realm of life has the potential to direct next generation of advanced medical technologies.


Title Position Email
Meaghan Beckner Graduate Student
Zach Clemens Graduate Student
Will Conkright Graduate Student
Gabrielle Gilmer Graduate Student
Zach Hettinger Postdoctoral Fellow
Adarsh Mallepally Undergraduate Student
Hikaru Mamiya Graduate Student
Amrita Sahu Postdoctoral Fellow
Sruthi Sivakumar Graduate Student
Kai Wang Postdoctoral Fellow
Most Cited Publications

"An acellular biologic scaffold promotes skeletal muscle formation in mice and humans with volumetric muscle loss."  Brian M Sicari, J Peter Rubin, Christopher L Dearth, Matthew T Wolf, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Michael Boninger, Neill J Turner, Douglas J Weber, Tyler W Simpson, Aaron Wyse, Elke HP Brown, Jenna L Dziki, Lee E Fisher, Spencer Brown, Stephen F Badylak. Science translational medicine.
"Relationships between transforming growth factor-β1, myostatin, and decorin: implications for skeletal muscle fibrosis." Jinhong Zhu, Yong Li, Wei Shen, Chunping Qiao, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Mitra Lavasani, Masahiro Nozaki, Maria F Branca, Johnny Huard. Journal of Biological Chemistry.
"Skeletal muscle as a regulator of the longevity protein, Klotho." Keith G Avin, Paul M Coen, Wan Huang, Donna B Stolz, Gwendolyn A Sowa, John J Dubé, Bret H Goodpaster, Robert M O'Doherty, Fabrisia Ambrosio. Frontiers in physiology. 
"Effect of VEGF on the regenerative capacity of muscle stem cells in dystrophic skeletal muscle." Bridget M Deasy, Joseph M Feduska, Thomas R Payne, Yong Li, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Johnny Huard. Molecular Therapy.
"Improved muscle healing after contusion injury by the inhibitory effect of suramin on myostatin, a negative regulator of muscle growth." Masahiro Nozaki, Yong Li, Jinhong Zhu, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Kenji Uehara, Freddie H Fu, Johnny Huard. The American journal of sports medicine.

Recent Publications

"Treatment of burn contractures with allogeneic human dermal fibroblasts improves Vancouver scar scale: A phase I/II trial." Debra A Bourne, Isaac James, Sheri Wang, Jacqueline Bliley, Tara Grahovac, Ryan TM Mitchell, Spencer A Brown, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Jonhan Ho, Bernd Lannau, Paul D Kemp, Jeffrey Gusenoff, J Peter Rubin. Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery.
"Extracellular Vesicle Concentration But Not Size Differs Between Men And Women During Military Operational Stress: 1135." William R Conkright, Meaghan E Beckner, Amrita Sahu, Zachary J Clemens, Mita Lovalekar, Qi Mi, Brian J Martin, Shawn D Flanagan, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Bradley C Nindl. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"The biphasic and age-dependent impact of klotho on hallmarks of aging and skeletal muscle function." Zachary Clemens, Sruthi Sivakumar, Abish Pius, Amrita Sahu, Sunita Shinde, Hikaru Mamiya, Nathaniel Luketich, Jian Cui, Purushottam Dixit, Joerg D Hoeck, Sebastian Kreuz, Michael Franti, Aaron Barchowsky, Fabrisia Ambrosio. Elife.
"Integrated approach of meta-analysis and bioinformatics towards elucidating disease mechanisms associated with age-related knee osteoarthritis." H Iijima, G Gilmer, K Wang, S Sivakumar, Y Matsui, F Ambrosio. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.
"Age-related increase in matrix stiffness downregulates α-klotho in cartilage and induces cartilage degeneration." H Iijima, G Gilmer, K Wang, A Bean, F Ambrosio. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.