The Commonwealth Medical College - unique in many ways

The Commonwealth Medical College Awarded First NIH Grant

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) was recently awarded its first National Institute of Health (NIH) research grant. This achievement, received only six months since the College received Preliminary Accreditation, advances TCMC’s goal of establishing an active research program that will provide residents of Northeast Pennsylvania with more efficient, improved healthcare.

John Arnott, PhD, Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Principal Investigator (PI) submitted the grant for $150, 000 over a three year timeframe to fund bone formation research in the development of Osteoporosis, a disease that affects nearly 10 million people above the age of 50.  His research group will focus on understanding the regulation of skeletal development and the molecular mechanisms that control bone formation. This method, which involves studying new proteins that will activate bone formation, will hopefully reduce and simplify recovery time for patients with breaks or fractures in the future.

“Receiving our first NIH grant only within six months of Preliminary Accreditation is a major achievement for a new medical college and demonstrates The Commonwealth Medical College’s commitment to establishing an active research program,” stated Robert D’Alessandri, MD, President and Founding Dean of The Commonwealth Medical College. “TCMC’s research program, comprised of nationally recognized researchers living right here in the community, is focused on finding more efficient treatments and therapies for diseases that affect the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania,” he continued.

The grant: “Identification of Combinatorial Signaling Mechanisms that regulate CTGF Induction” will help researchers develop an understanding of the growth control mechanisms that regulate osteoblasts to identify new therapeutic targets to enhance bone formation in patients with clinically significant bone loss.

"This research will help to identify potential therapeutic targets to enhance bone formation in cases of fracture or in osteopenic diseases, such as osteoporosis,” stated John Arnott, PhD. “Developing a better understanding of the formation and maintenance of bone mass will result in faster healing times and significant reductions in health care costs associated with hospitalizations resulting from fractures and diseases like osteoporosis," Dr. Arnott added.

The grant will enable TCMC to hire one to two full-time employees to work on the research as well as support local undergraduate research by bringing in interns from local colleges and universities.  In addition, Dr. Arnott will be collaborating with Investigators at the University of Scranton on this project.

Background Information:  Dr. Arnott’s research focuses on understanding the signaling mechanisms in osteoblasts that control bone formation and fracture repair. 
For a complete description of Dr. Arnott’s research specialty and description, go to Http://

The Commonwealth Medical College is a new medical college opening in August 2009 and expects to accept sixty medical students and thirty Masters of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) students. The College has campuses in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport and currently has over 113 full time employees and over 557 clinical faculty members. For the academic years of 2009 and 2010, students will use temporary facilities on the Lackawanna College campus. The Commonwealth Medical College is dedicated to training the next generation of physicians in a community-based model. Focusing on selecting students with a propensity for community service, the school’s unique structure is designed to provide these students with diverse clinical experiences from the very first day of their education. For information please go to

The Commonwealth Medical College is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).