Diego Correa, MD, PhD
Researchers Section Chief

Diego Correa, MD, PhD
Dr. Correa is an expert in Cell Biology, with special emphasis on adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) and their clinical applications in Regenerative Medicine. Currently holds a joint appointment as Assistant Professor between the Department of Orthopaedics (UHealth Sports Medicine Institute) and the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. In addition, he holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment at the Dept. of Biology, Skeletal Research Center – Case Western Reserve University, where he continues interacting with Professor Arnold Caplan participating in various research areas and funded projects. Throughout his career, Dr. Correa has approached Medicine and Science in a dynamic multidisciplinary manner, using tissue injury and regeneration, and the musculoskeletal system as primary platforms. He has analyzed them from various perspectives, including a clinical view of tissue damage in skeletal diseases, an engineering analysis of tissue mechanics, a basic science study of the cellular and molecular underpinnings of skeletal development using genetic models, and the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat immune-related conditions and traumatic skeletal diseases based on stem cell therapy.
Dr. Correa’s academic activities are centered around the development of standardized and reproducible Regenerative Medicine-based therapeutic alternatives, supported by both cell therapy and tissue engineering approaches. His laboratory studies the biology of MSC as essential component, and the derivation of potential therapeutic protocols for musculoskeletal conditions and during islet cell transplantation in type 1 Diabetes. The former includes the identification and testing of distinct functional subpopulations of cells; their progenitor, immunomodulatory and trophic activities and their intercellular communication through exosome-type of microvesicles, using both in vitro and in vivo models. The latter includes testing the developed products in preclinical proof-of-concept animal models and supporting collaborative clinical research efforts.
Dr. Correa finished Medical School at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá (Colombia). During his medical practice, he enrolled in an MSc program in Mechanical Engineering at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá (Colombia), where he started the research area of Tissue Engineering and received the Engineering School Fellowship. He then received his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from Yale University where he was recipient of the George Robert Pfeiffer Fellowship from the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation. Dr. Correa then moved to Harvard University where he completed his graduate dissertation. He then joined the laboratory of professor Arnold Caplan at Case Western Reserve University, starting as Postdoctoral Fellow and then as Sr. Research Associate, where he led the projects related with the use of MSC in the areas of Orthopaedic Tissue Engineering and the description of their role during the process of distant Cancer Metastasis.
Dr. Correa holds various patents submissions; is author and co-author of a significant number of scientific publications in recognized journals; is a member of the Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Cell Therapy committee at the International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT); serves on the editorial board and as peer reviewer of various recognized scientific journals and for funding institutions both nationally (e.g.: CIRM) and internationally; is an invited speaker and lecturer in national and international scientific and medical meetings; participates in diverse entrepreneurial activities, such as the creation and evaluation of private startup companies in the areas of Regenerative Medicine and adult stem cell-based therapy, and in various Scientific Advisory Boards in companies within the Regenerative Medicine field.