Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - Philadelphia
Professor of Anatomy

Marina D’Angelo, PhD


Office: 215-871-6525
Research Page

Dr. D’Angelo has served as Course Director for the Cellular Anatomy portion of SPOM in the DO curriculum since 2005 and participant in the Histology course for the M.S. in Biomedical sciences since 2001. In addition, Dr. D’Angelo participates in the Gross Anatomy courses for the MS in Biomedical Sciences, the Physician Assistants program and the PhD in Physical Therapy program from Widener University. Her responsibilities include organization and presentation of lectures in a team-taught program and assistance of the students in the laboratory portion of the courses.

Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, ProteaPex Therapeutics, LLC

ProteaPex Therapeutics, LLC has developed an innovative disease modifying therapeutic technology to treat post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). This new class of therapeutic, Extracellular Matrix Protection Factor™ (ECPF) is a novel, safe and effective intra-joint injection that reduces the pain and damage caused by PTOA. According to the World Health Organization, over 10% of the world’s population aged 60 or older has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA), with 80% of the population aged 65 and older exhibiting radiographic evidence of OA. Unfortunately, the current standard of care is directed at later stages of the disease with the only attainable goal being relief from pain and improvement of joint function. A critical research goal for our group is the development of disease modifying OA drugs (DMOADs) that would target the early stages of OA. The company is currently focused on developing therapeutics for the veterinary market and has a broad base of products for treatment of orthopedic, dental and wound healing in both the veterinary and human markets. The co-founders of ProteaPex Therapeutics have over 30 years combined experience in the fields of skeletal biology, osteoarthritis and peptide design. In April 2014, ProteaPex Therapeutics was issued a patent on the "Compositions and Methods for Inhibition of MMP13:MMP-Substrate Interactions” by the US Patent Office.

Matrix Metalloprotease Production in the Dentin/Resin Hybrid Layer:
Bacterial and enzymatic degradation of adhesive bonding agents at adhesive/tooth interfaces compromises the long-term inhibition of bacterial leakage and prevention of secondary caries around composite resin restorations. It can be expected that blocking enzymatic degradation at the interface coupled with the elimination of invading bacteria will prolong the life expectancy of resin restorations. However, conclusive clinical evidence for a relationship between gap formation following enzymatic degradation and bacterial involvement at resin/tooth interfaces does not exist. The overarching hypothesis of the project is that endogenous MMPs, released and activated by adhesive procedures, hydrolyse collagen fibrils at resin/dentin interfaces compromising bond durability. In order to test this hypothesis, we must first demonstrate that endogenous MMPs can be measured in the dentin from the cavity wall of a single tooth, and which MMPs are the major players to be inhibited clinically.

  • Education

    PhD, Developmental Biology/Teratology Thomas Jefferson University, July 1992

    BS, Biology Drexel University, 1986

    Associate Scientist (2000-2001) Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Steven Popoff, PhD – Advisor – Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Lecturer/Postdoctoral Fellow (1998-2000) Biochemistry Department, Phoebe Leboy, PhD – Advisor – University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.

    NRSA Postdoctoral Researcher (1994-1998) Anatomy and Histology Department, Maurizio Pacifici, PhD--Advisor-- University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Assistant Research Scientist (1992-1994) Pathology Department, Leslie Gold, PhD --Advisor -- NYU Medical Center, NYC, NY.

  • Awards

    National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Graduate Award 2014: recognition of alumni for their achievements in professional and civic life.

    People’s Choice Award 2012, Wharton Business Plan Competition: Consultant/Advisor for ChondroPro team.

    Visiting Scholar (10/11-9/12) Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

    University City Science Center QED Proof-of-Concept Program Top Ten Finalist 2010: “Metalloprotease peptide derivative therapeutics for osteoarthritis.”

    East Coast Connective Tissue Society Young Investigator Award 1999: “MMP-13 expression during chondrocyte maturation.”

    Orthopaedic Research Society New Investigator Recognition Award 1997: “Changes in TGFß activation and isoform profiles accompany endochondral ossification.”

    Orthopaedic Research Society New Investigator Recognition Award Semi-Finalist 1996: “Endogenously produced articular chondrocyte factors inhibit growth plate chondrocyte maturation.”

  • Publications

    Selected Publications

    Book Chapter

    D'Angelo M, Mon Thant L, Palmer G, Attur M, Abramson S, Teixeira CC. F-Spondin: A new regulator of cartilage maturation in development and osteoarthritis. (2009) In: McNamara JA Jr, Kapila SD, eds. Temporomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain: Separating Controversy from Consensus. Monograph 46, Craniofacial Growth Series, Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry and Center for Human Growth and Development, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2009:353-365.

    Peer-Reviewed Journal Cover

    Glyn D. Palmer, Alejandro H. Piton, Lwin Mon Thant, Serafim M. Oliveira, Marina D’Angelo, Mukundan G. Attur, Steven B. Abramson, Cristina C. Teixeira (2010) "F-spondin regulates chondrocyte terminal differentiation and endochondral bone formation" Journal of Orthopaedic Research 28(10): 1323-1329.

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

    Herati, RS; Knox,VW; Ma, X; O’Donnell, P; D'Angelo, M; Haskins, ME and Katherine P. Ponder (2008) “Radiographic Evaluation of Mucopolysaccharidosis I and VII Dogs After Neonatal Gene Therapy” Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 95(3):142-151.

    Simonaro, C.M.; M. D’Angelo; X. He; E. Eliyahu; N. Shtraizent; M.E. Haskins and E.H. Schuchman (2008) “Mechanism of glycosaminoglycan-mediated bone and joint disease: Implications for the Mucopolysaccharidoses and other connective tissue diseases.” The American Journal of Pathology 172(1):112-122.

    DiLullo, C; Coughlin, P; D’Angelo, M; McGuinness, M; Bandle, J; Slotkin, EM; Shainker, SA; Wenger, C and SJ Berray (2006) “Anatomy in a New Curriculum: Facilitating the Learning of Gross Anatomy using web access streaming dissection videos.” Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine 29(3): 99-108.

    Simonaro, C.M; D’Angelo, M.; Haskins, ME and EH Schuchman (2005) “Joint and bone disease in the mucopolysaccharidoses: Identification of new therapeutic targets and biomarkers, and analogies to arthritis.” Pediatric Research 57(5):701-707.

    Volk, S.W.; Kapatkin, A.S.; Haskins, M.E.; Walton, R.M.; D’Angelo, M. (2003) “Gelatinase activity in synovial fluid and synovium from osteoarthritic canine joints.” American Journal of Veterinary Research 64:1193-1328.

    Chen, E.; Yuan, Z-A.; Wright, J.T.; Hong, S.P.; Li, Y.; Collier, P.M.; Hall, B.; D’Angelo, M.; Decker, S.; Piddington, R.; Abrams, W.R.; Kulkarni, A.B.; Gibson, C.W. (2003) “The small bovine amelogenin LRAP fails to rescue the amelogenin null phenotype.” Calcified Tissue International Online First, September 10, 2003.

    Wesenbeck, L.V.; Odgren P.R.; D’Angelo, M.; Safadi, F.F.; Popoff, S.N.; VanHul, W.; Marks, S.C. (2002) “The osteopetrotic mutation toothless (tl) is a loss-of-function frameshift mutation in the rat CSF1 gene: new evidence of a crucial role for CSF-1 in osteoclastogenesis and endochondral ossification.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 99: 14303-308.

    D’Angelo, M; Sarment, DP; Billings, PC; Pacifici, M. (2001) Activation of TGF-beta in chondrocytes undergoing endochondral ossification. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 16: 2339-2347.

    D’Angelo, M; Billings, PC; Pacifici, M; Leboy, PS; Kirsch, T (2001) Authentic matrix vesicles contain active metalloproteases: A role for matrix vesicle-associated MMP-13 in activation of TGF- β Journal of Biological Chemistry 276:11347-53.

    Leboy, PS; Grasso-Knight, G; D’Angelo, M; Volk, SW; Lian, JB; Drissi, H; Stein, GS; Adams, SL (2001) Smad-Runx interactions during chondrocyte maturation. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Supplement 83A: S1-15.

    Volk, S.W.; D’Angelo, M.; Diefenderfer, D. and P.S. Leboy. (2000).“ Utilization of bone morphogenetic protein receptors during chondrocyte maturation.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 15:1630-1639.

    D’Angelo, M.; Yan, Z.; Nooreyazdan, M.; Pacifici, M.; Sarment, D.S.; Billings, P. C. and P.S. Leboy (2000). “MMP-13 is induced during chondrocyte hypertophy.” Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 77:678-693.

    Sarment, D.P., Korostoff, J.; D’Angelo, M.; Polson, A. M.; Feldman, R.S.; and P.C. Billings (1999). “ In situ localization and characterization of active proteases in chronically inflamed and healthy human gingival tissues.” Journal of Periodontology 70: 1303-1312.

    D'Angelo, M. and M. Pacifici (1997). "Articular chondrocytes produce factors that inhibit maturation of sternal chondrocytes in serum-free agarose cultures: A TGF-β independent process." Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 12: 1368-1377.

    D’Angelo,M. Chen,J-M, Ward,G., Ugen,K., and R.M. Greene (1994). “TGFß1 modulation of procollagen metabolism in embryonic palatal cells.” Journal of Experimental Zoology 270(2): 189-201.

    D'Angelo,M. and R.M. Greene (1991) "Transforming growth factor-β modulation of glycosaminoglycan production by mesenchymal cells of the developing murine secondary palate.” Developmental Biology 145: 374-378.

    Gehris, A.L.; D'Angelo, M and R.M. Greene (1991) "Immunodetection of the transforming growth factors β1 and β2 in the developing murine palate" International Journal of Developmental Biology 35:1-8.

    Linask,K.K., D'Angelo,M., Gehris,A.L., Greene, R.M. (1991) "Transforming growth factorß receptor profiles of human and murine embryonic palate mesenchymal cells" Experimental Cell Research 192:1-9.

    Selected Presentations

    D’Angelo, M “Disease modifying drugs for post-traumatic osteoarthritis” Grand Rounds December 9, 2013, Cooper Bone and Joint Institute, Cooper University Health Care, Camden, NJ.

    D’Angelo, M “A Mechanism of Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGFβ) Activation and Its Implications in Managing Osteoarthritis Pathology “ February 1, 2010 PCOM Research Seminar Series, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

    D’Angelo, M “The role of TGFβ in coordinating chondrocyte and osteoblast differentiation at the chondro-osseous junction” April 11, 2006, New York University, College of Dentistry, New York, NY.

    D’Angelo, M “The role of TGFβ in coordinating chondrocyte and osteoblast differentiation at the chondro-osseous junction” July 12, 2006, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

    D’Angelo, M “Research and Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine” December 8, 2006, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

    D’Angelo, M “Breaking Down to Build Bone” April 2003, Friends-Select School, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Grants

    Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) Program 1/2011-12/2014 “Effect of Liposuction Technique on the Viability and Differentiation of Adipose Derived Stem Cells”

    CCDA Grant 7/2013-6/2014 “Development of an in vitro, whole tooth model to study effects of endogenous matrix metalloprotease activity on resin restorations.”

    Schoenleber Pilot Grant 12/2013-11/2015 “Inactivation of Matrix Metalloproteinase-8 by Extracellular Matrix Protection Factor -2 in Dentin Cavity Walls

    NIDDK 5/2005 to 4/2009 “MPS VI and I feline model”- collaborator

    NIDDK 2/2002 to 1/2007 “MPS VII canine model” – collaborator

    National MPS Society Grant 7/2005 to 6/2007 “Biomarkers and treatments for joint pathology in MPS VI” -collaborator

    National MPS Society Grant 7/2003 to 6/2005 “Joint pathology in MPS VI “ – collaborator


  • Other

    Volunteer and Leadership Activities

    Start-Up Company: Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, ProteaPex Therapeutics, Inc (March 2011-Present) Innovations in Animal Health;

    Patent: “Compositions and methods for inhibition of MMP:MMP-substrate interactions” USPTO #61/391,446 docket number: P224717.US.02 (issued April 29, 2014)

    Course Director, SPOM: Cellular Anatomy 2008-Present

    President, PCOM Chapter, Sigma Xi Research Society 2005-2006

    Vice President, PCOM Chapter, Sigma Xi Research Society 2003-2005

    Faculty Forum Co-Chair 2013-Present

    Chair Research Committee 2008-2013

    Chair- Adhoc Committee on Research Personnel 2005-2006

    Development and Launch of D.O/Ph.D. program 2005-Present

    Faculty-at-large Representative to Executive Faculty 2006-2007

    Chair of Anatomy Department Faculty Search Committee 2007-2010

    Chair of Anatomy Department Technician Search Committee 2008-2009

    Moderator Small Group PCOM Research Retreat 2009

    Secretary, PCOM Faculty Senate 2003-2007

    Organizer for the Sigma Xi Annual Research Forum 2003-Present

    Organizer for the PCOM Annual Research Day 2011-2013

    Anatomy Program Organizer “National Youth Leadership Forum” Summer 2007- Present

    Anatomy Program Organizer “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” 2010-Present

    Journal Reviewer
    • Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2007-Present
    • Journal of Cellular Physiology, 2007-Present
    • The Open Endocrinology Journal, 2008-Present
    • Cytokines, 2009-Present
    • Cell Transplantation, 2010-Present
    Study Section

    Department of Defense PRMRP 9/2011; 10/2011; 5/2012: 9/2012; 10/2012