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Derfner-Lieberman Laboratory for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research



male research scientist director at Kessler Foundation

Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD

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Nathan Hogaboom, PhD

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Jay E. Bowen, DO

The rapidly growing interdisciplinary field of regenerative rehabilitation has the potential to transform how we approach disabilities caused by injury, disease, and aging.



Areas of Focus

At the forefront of a new field that promises to revolutionize treatments for people with disabling injuries, the Derfner-Lieberman Laboratory for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research – named in recognition of support from The Derfner Foundation and its trustee Jay Lieberman – develops therapeutics and interventions to enhance tissue repair and identify alternate treatments that people can pursue before they take the next step of surgery. The Laboratory’s initial studies incorporated the use of micro-fragmented adipose tissue on rotator cuff injuries of the shoulder for wheelchair users with spinal cord injury and for treatment of meniscal tears in active-duty military personnel, avoiding the potential adverse effects of surgery and the downtime for prolonged postoperative recovery.

The Derfner-Lieberman Laboratory research team is comprised of three co-directors:

  • Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, director of the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research at Kessler Foundation.
  • Nathan Hogaboom, PhD, the first Derfner fellow, now a research scientist in the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research at Kessler Foundation.
  • Jay Bowen, DO, co-director of the New Jersey Regenerative Institute that specializes in regenerative and orthobiologic treatments. Dr. Bowen trained under the late Gerald Malanga, MD, one of the original founders of the Laboratory.

A key component of the Laboratory is its fellowship program, which supports ongoing clinical and postdoctoral research training. Two goals of the fellowship are to facilitate clinically based research on the effectiveness of various regenerative and orthobiological treatments, such as platelet rich plasma, bone marrow, and micro-fragmented adipose tissue, and to establish a centralized database to record treatment outcomes from other clinics performing orthobiologic treatments.


Current Funding Support

The Derfner Foundation, New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, and The Geneva Foundation.