Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - PCOM
Professor of Anatomy

Marina D’Angelo, PhD


Office: 215-871-6525
Publications and Selected Works

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 program since 2001. In addition, Dr. D’Angelo participates in the gross anatomy courses for the MS in Biomedical Sciences, the Physician Assistant Studies 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.”

  • 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/PhD 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