The Ferguson Laboratory for Orthopaedic and Spine Research, under the direction of Drs. Joon Lee, Gwendolyn Sowa, and Nam Vo, continues to expand the boundaries of basic science and clinical spine research. The primary focus of the laboratory is to understand the biology behind intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) and develop biological, biomechanical, and cell-based therapies for IDD. IDD is a complex process, which involves several possible etiologies. These include aging, injury due to excessive mechanical strain, genetic predisposition, or environmental insults such as tobacco smoking.