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Satoru Otsuru, MD, PhD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:



670 W Baltimore Street, HSFIII Rm7173

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

Education and Training

1993-1999: M.D., Osaka University, School of Medicine, Japan

1999-2002: Residency, Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka University Hospital, Japan

2002-2007: Ph.D., Molecular Therapeutics, Osaka University, Graduate School of Medicine, Japan

2007-2012: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Division of Oncology, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA



2012-2013: Research Scientist, Division of Oncology, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA

2013-2017: Sr. Research Scientist, The Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OH

2018-2022: Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, MD

2022-present: Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, MD


Satoru Otsuru, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

In 1999, Dr. Otsuru graduated from Osaka University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). After completing the residency training in the orthopaedic surgery at Osaka University Hospital, he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Molecular Therapeutics from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in 2007. During his graduate training, he studied the mechanism of how bone marrow stem cells contribute to tissue regeneration using an ectopic bone formation model.

In 2007, Dr. Otsuru continued bone marrow stem cell research as a postdoctoral fellow at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the laboratory of Dr. Edwin Horwitz. During his postdoctoral fellowship, he identified a novel mechanism of how cell therapy using mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) improves the condition of patients with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI).

In 2013, Dr. Otsuru relocated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to further study the mechanisms of MSC therapeutic actions and explored the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by MSCs. He also began the project to identify the mechanisms of growth deficiency in OI.

In 2018, Dr. Otsuru joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Otsuru’s lab examines the mechanisms of how EVs derived from MSCs exert therapeutic effects on various tissues and seeks to utilize EVs for diseases including OI. Additionally, the lab investigates the mechanisms underlying growth deficiency in OI with the hypothesis that cell stress in hypertrophic chondrocytes in the growth plate plays an important role in impaired longitudinal bone growth in OI.

Dr. Otsuru has published more than 55 peer-reviewed articles and has been consistently funded, including by the National Institutes of Health and the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Osteoblasts, Chondrocytes, Bone Marrow, Cell Therapy, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Tissue Regeneration

Highlighted Publications


Scheiber AL, Wilkinson KJ, Suzuki A, Enomoto-Iwamoto M, Kaito T, Cheah KS, Iwamoto M, Leikin S, and Otsuru S. 4PBA reduces growth deficiency in osteogenesis imperfecta by enhancing transition of hypertrophic chondrocytes to osteoblasts. JCI Insight, 8;7(3), e149636, 2022, PMID:34990412.

Scheiber AL, Clark CA, Kaito T, Iwamoto M, Horwitz EM, Kawasawa YI, and Otsuru S. Culture condition of bone marrow stromal cells affects quantity and quality of the extracellular vesicles. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18;23(3):1017, 2022, PMID: 35162938

Scheiber AL, Guess AJ, Kaito T, Abzug JM, Enomoto-Iwamoto M, Leikin S, Iwamoto M, and Otsuru S. Endoplasmic reticulum stress is induced in growth plate hypertrophic chondrocytes in G610C mouse model of osteogenesis imperfecta. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 509 (1), 235-240, 2019. PMID:30579604, PMCID:PMC6370306

Otsuru S, Desbourdes L, Guess AJ, Hofmann TJ, Relation T, Kaito T, Dominici M, Iwamoto M, and Horwitz EM. Extracellular vesicles released from mesenchymal stem/stromal cells stimulate bone growth in osteogenesis imperfecta, Cytotherapy, 20, 62-73, 2018. PMID: 29107738

Otsuru S, Overholt KM, Olson TS, Hofmann TJ, Guess AJ, Velazquez VM, Kaito T, Dominici M and Horwitz EM. Hematopoietic derived cells do not contribute to osteogenesis as osteoblasts, Bone, 94: 1-9, 2017. PMID: 27725318

Otsuru S, Hofmann TJ, Raman P, Olson TS, Guess AJ, Dominici M and Horwitz EM. Genomic and functional comparison of mesenchymal stromal cells prepared using two isolation methods, Cytotherapy, 17: 262-270, 2015. PMID: 25659640

Otsuru S, Hofmann TJ, Olson TS, Dominici M and Horwitz EM. Improved Isolation and Expansion of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Using a Novel Marrow Filter Device, Cytotherapy, 15: 146-153, 2013. PMID:23321326

Otsuru S, Gordon PL, Shimono K, Jethva R, Marino R, Philips CL, Hofmann TJ, Veronesi E, Dominici M, Iwamoto M and Horwitz EM. Transplanted bone marrow mononuclear cells and MSCs impart clinical benefit to children with osteogenesis imperfecta through different mechanisms, Blood, 120: 1933-1941, 2012. PMID:22829629, PMC3433095

Otsuru S, Tamai K, Yamazaki T, Yoshikawa H and Kaneda Y. Circulating bone marrow-derived osteoblast progenitor cells are recruited to the bone-forming site by the CXCR4/Stromal cell-derived factor-1 pathway, Stem Cells 1: 223-234, 2008. PMID: 17932420

Additional Publication Citations

Awards and Affiliations

ASBMR Mid-Career Faculty Travel Award, 2019

Invited Mentee, U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative Young Investigator Program, 2015

The Best Poster Award at the 9th Annual Scientific Symposium of Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2012

The Best Poster Award at the 21st Annual Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research (CHOP) Poster Day, 2011

The Best Abstract Award at the 16th Annual Meeting of International Society for Cellular Therapy, 2010

The Most Outstanding Ph.D Student Award of the Year in Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2007

Grants and Contracts

Current Research Support:

9/1/2020-8/31/2025 “Mechanism of growth deficiency in dominant forms of osteogenesis imperfecta” NIH/NIAMS R01 AR075733. Role: PI

1/15/2024-11/30/2028 "Lipid metabolism in the growth plate"                                            NIH/NIAMS R01AR083363. Role: PI

6/30/2023-6/30/2025 "Developing novel therapies for osteogenesis imperfecta using growth plate organoids from patient-derived iPSCs" TEDCO/MSCRF 2023-MSCRFD-6160. Role: PI


Completed Research Support:

9/11/2020-8/31/2022 “Development of a novel therapy with Apolipoprotein E for osteogenesis imperfecta” NIH/NIAMS R21 AR077654. Role: PI

7/1/2019-12/1/2020 “Application of long acting retinoid nano-particles for orthopaedic infection” UMB ICTR ATIP Grant. Role: PI

6/30/2018-10/31/2020 “Developing MSC-derived extracellular vesicle therapy for osteogenesis imperfecta” TEDCO/MSCRF 2018-MSCRFD-4331. Role: PI