Dr. Hunter serves at Augusta University as the Satcher Distinguished Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and director of the Sports Medicine Program. Before joining Augusta University, he worked as a team physician for Wake Forest University and for UCLA intercollegiate teams. Hunter has also worked with many Atlantic Coast Conference all-star basketball teams and he served as the physician for the Italian team training for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Dr. Hunter specializes in arthroscopic surgery and minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat sports injuries. Research interest include knee ligament reconstruction and injury prevention in female athletes.
Areas of Expertise (2)
Injury prevention in female athletes
Knee allingment Reconstruction
Georgia Health Sciences Family Choice Award
Named a recipient of the 2012 Georgia Health Sciences Family Choice Award
Floyd Bliven Outstanding Faculty Teacher Award
Named a recipient of the 2008 Floyd Bliven Outstanding Faculty Teacher Award
Henry Distinguished Chair of Orthopedics
A position held at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Satcher Distinguished Chair in Sports Medicine
A position held in the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
University of North Carolina: Bachelor's degree, Zoology
Wake Forest University: Doctor of Medicine, Medicine
- American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
- National Board of Medical Examiners
- American Board of Emergency Medicine
- U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration
- Georgia Composite Medical Board
Within the field of regenerative medicine, many have sought to use stem cells as a promising way to heal human tissue; however, in the past few years, exosomes (packaged vesicles released from cells) have shown more exciting promise. Specifically, stem cell-derived exosomes have demonstrated great ability to provide therapeutical benefits. Exosomal products can include miRNA, other genetic products, proteins, and various factors. They are released from cells in a paracrine fashion in order to combat local cellular stress. Because of this, there are vast benefits that medicine can obtain from stem cell-derived exosomes. If exosomes could be extracted from stem cells in an efficient manner and packaged with particular regenerative products, then diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, bone fractures, and other maladies could be treated with cell-free regenerative medicine via exosomes. Many advances must be made to get to this point, and the following review highlights the current advances of stem cell-derived exosomes with particular attention to regenerative medicine in orthopaedics.
Age-induced bone loss is associated with greater bone resorption and decreased bone formation resulting in osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. The etiology of this age-induced bone loss is not clear but has been associated with increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from leaky mitochondria. ROS are known to oxidize/damage the surrounding proteins/amino acids/enzymes and thus impair their normal function. Among the amino acids, the aromatic amino acids are particularly prone to modification by oxidation. Since impaired osteoblastic differentiation from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) plays a role in age-related bone loss, we wished to examine whether oxidized amino acids (in particular the aromatic amino acids) modulated BMMSC function. Using mouse BMMSCs, we examined the effects of the oxidized amino acids di-tyrosine and kynurenine on proliferation, differentiation and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathway. Our data demonstrate that amino acid oxides (in particular kynurenine) inhibited BMMSC proliferation, alkaline phosphatase expression and activity and the expression of osteogenic markers (Osteocalcin and Runx2). Taken together, our data are consistent with a potential pathogenic role for oxidized amino acids in age-induced bone loss.
Vitamin C is a micro-nutrient which plays an important role in bone marrow stromal cell (BMSCs) differentiation to osteogenesis. This vitamin is transported into the BMSCs through the sodium dependent vitamin C transporter 2 (SVCT2). We previously reported that knockdown of the SVCT2 transporter decreases osteogenic differentiation. However, our understanding of the post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism of the SVCT2 transporter remains poor. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate the messenger RNAs of protein-coding genes. In this study, we aimed to investigate the impact of miR-141 and miR-200a on SVCT2 expression. We found that mouse BMSCs expressed miR-141 and miR-200a and repressed SVCT2 expression at the functional level by targeting the 3'-untranslated region of mRNA. We also found that miR-141 and miR-200a decreased osteogenic differentiation. Furthermore, miRNA inhibitors increased SVCT2 and osteogenic gene expression in BMSCs. Taken together, these results indicate that both miRNAs are novel regulators of the SVCT2 transporter and play an important role in the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs.