Faculty Profile

Dr. Hui (Herb) Sun, Ph.D.

Hui (Herb) Sun, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Areas of Research: Identifying regulatory mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis, tendinopathy, and skeletal cancers, with the potential to be used as targets for developing novel therapeutics.

Professional Interests

Dr. Sun and Orthopaedic Research Laboratory


Develop novel and effective preventive and therapeutic strategies for musculoskeletal disorders

  • Arthritis
  • Tendinopathy
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Cancer
  • Elucidate mechanisms underlying how stem cells behave and identify novel therapeutic targets
  • Develop effective, patient/surgeon-friendly  gene and cell therapy strategies
  • Bridge research findings from bench to bedside

Research Highlights

Osteoarthritis (OA)

  • Most common joint disease and a leading cause of adult disability
  • Mechanisms of disease development not well understood
  • No effective treatment options for prevention or arrest

     Key Findings

  • Decreased expression of transcriptional regulator CITED2 protein associated with cartilage breakdown and matrix loss, as indicated by Safranin O, in human OA
  • Experimental suppression of CITED2 causes OA-like cartilage breakdown, suggesting reduced expression of CITED2 protein contributes to OA disease initiation and progression
  • Experimental restoration of CITED2 slows the development of cartilage degradation in a mouse model of OA (DMM)

Tendon Stem Cell Aging and Regeneration

  • Tendons become more susceptible to injury and less able to heal with age
  • This project explores how age-related decline in tendon integrity may be the result of changes in the stem cells that are responsible for maintaining these tissues
  • Research will gain insights into the basis for tendon disorders that could lead to new strategies for aged tendon rejuvenation, injury repair and regeneration. 
      Key Findings
  • Tendon stem cell number and function decline with age, which is associated with age-related injury.
  • Reduced levels of CITED2 protein is responsible for age-related stem cell decline. Low levels of CITED2 causes reduction in stem cell survival marker (Bmi1) and increased cell proliferation inhibitors (p16Ink4a, p14Arf). 

Future Directions and Perspectives

  • Develop pharmacological agents for OA, tendinopathy, and tendon injuries
  • Determine role of Low Energy Focused Ultrasound (LOFU) on enhancing stem cell ability of tissue repair and regeneration
  • Novel approach to prevent skeletal cancer recurrence and metastasis by targeting cancer stem cells

Recent Awards

  • Daniel Leong, 1st Place, Parviz Lalezari Award for Research Excellence: Montefiore Medical Center Young Investigator Symposium (2012)
  • Leon An, Semi-finalist: The Siemans Competition in Math, Science, and Technology (2012)
  • Daniel Leong, Webster Jee Young Investigator Award:  International Chinese Musculoskeletal Tissue Society Annual Meeting (2013)



Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Golding Building, Room 101A
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.4291
Fax: 718.430.3259

Research Information