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Devina Purmessur, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • 401 Bevis Hall
    1080 Carmack Rd
    Columbus, OH 43210


Dr. Purmessur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University. Within the SRI, Dr. Purmessur collaborates closely with the Executive and Scientific Director Dr. Marras and orthopedic surgeons Dr. Khan and Lu to investigate the neuro-inflammatory causal pathways underlying discogenic back pain so as to identify targeted treatment strategies. Dr. Purmessur graduated from the University of Sheffield, UK with a BS in Medical Biochemistry followed by an MS in Immunology and Allergy from the University of Nottingham. She conducted her doctoral work (BBSRC Case industrial studentship with Pfizer plc) under the supervision of Professors Hoyland, PhD and Freemont, MD in Molecular Pathology at the University of Manchester where she examined the interactions between intervertebral disc (IVD) and neuronal cells, and the role of neurotrophins in disc disease. Dr. Purmessur went on to perform her postdoctoral work in the Bioengineering laboratories of Professor Iatridis, PhD at the University of Vermont and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY exploring structure (stem cell and disc cell) and symptom (neurovascular cell) modifying based strategies for regeneration of the IVD with developmental notochordal derived stimulants as well as developing whole IVD inflammatory organ culture models and an in vivo model of discogenic back pain. Dr. Purmessur’s laboratory focuses on understanding the biochemical, biomechanical, and cellular mechanisms underlying pathophysiology in discogenic back pain with translation from 2D through to 3D and in-vivo models. Dr. Purmessur makes significant contributions within the IVD/Spine and Orthopedic communities and recently served as the Young Investigator Member-at-large on the Orthopedic Research Society Board of Directors (2013-2015). In 2013 Dr. Purmessur was awarded the Arnold and Madaleine Penner 2nd Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium Young Investigator Award. Dr. Purmessur has published over 50 peer-reviewed research articles and abstracts.


  • November, 2019

    ORS Spine Section Early Investigator Award.

  • October, 2013

    Arnold and Madaleine Penner 2nd Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium Young Investigator Award.

  • January, 2012

    Postdoctoral Research Travel Award.

Journal Articles


  • Richards, J.; Tang, S.; Gunsch, G.; Sul, P. et al., 2019, "Mast Cell/Proteinase Activated Receptor 2 (PAR2) Mediated Interactions in the Pathogenesis of Discogenic Back Pain.." Front Cell Neurosci 13, 294 - 294.
  • Tang, S.; Richards, J.; Khan, S.; Hoyland, J. et al., 2019, "Nonviral Transfection With Brachyury Reprograms Human Intervertebral Disc Cells to a Pro-Anabolic Anti-Catabolic/Inflammatory Phenotype: A Proof of Concept Study.." J Orthop Res 37, no. 11, 2389-2400 - 2389-2400.


  • Thompson, K.; Moore, S.; Tang, S.; Wiet, M. et al., 2018, "The chondrodystrophic dog: A clinically relevant intermediate-sized animal model for the study of intervertebral disc-associated spinal pain.." JOR Spine 1, no. 1, e1011 - e1011.
  • Palacio-Mancheno, P.E.; Evashwick-Rogler, T.W.; Laudier, D.M.; Purmessur, D. et al., 2018, "Hyperosmolarity induces notochordal cell differentiation with aquaporin3 upregulation and reduced N-cadherin expression.." J Orthop Res 36, no. 2, 788-798 - 788-798.
  • Martin, J.T.; Gullbrand, S.E.; Fields, A.J.; Purmessur, D. et al., 2018, "Publication trends in spine research from 2007 to 2016: Comparison of the Orthopaedic Research Society Spine Section and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.." JOR Spine 1, no. 1, e1006 - e1006.


  • Wiet, M.G.; Piscioneri, A.; Khan, S.N.; Ballinger, M.N. et al., 2017, "Mast Cell-Intervertebral disc cell interactions regulate inflammation, catabolism and angiogenesis in Discogenic Back Pain.." Sci Rep 7, no. 1, 12492 - 12492.


  • Marras, W.S.; Walter, B.A.; Purmessur, D.; Mageswaran, P. et al., 2016, "The Contribution of Biomechanical-Biological Interactions of the Spine to Low Back Pain.." Hum Factors 58, no. 7, 965-975 - 965-975.
  • Lai, A.; Moon, A.; Purmessur, D.; Skovrlj, B. et al., 2016, "Annular puncture with tumor necrosis factor-alpha injection enhances painful behavior with disc degeneration in vivo.." Spine J 16, no. 3, 420-431 - 420-431.
  • Walter, B.A.; Purmessur, D.; Moon, A.; Occhiogrosso, J. et al., 2016, "Reduced tissue osmolarity increases TRPV4 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokines in intervertebral disc cells.." Eur Cell Mater 32, 123-136 - 123-136.


  • Purmessur, D.; Cornejo, M.C.; Cho, S.K.; Roughley, P.J. et al., 2015, "Intact glycosaminoglycans from intervertebral disc-derived notochordal cell-conditioned media inhibit neurite growth while maintaining neuronal cell viability.." Spine J 15, no. 5, 1060-1069 - 1060-1069.
  • Walter, B.A.; Purmessur, D.; Likhitpanichkul, M.; Weinberg, A. et al., 2015, "Inflammatory Kinetics and Efficacy of Anti-inflammatory Treatments on Human Nucleus Pulposus Cells.." Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 40, no. 13, 955-963 - 955-963.
  • Lai, A.; Moon, A.; Purmessur, D.; Skovrlj, B. et al., 2015, "Assessment of functional and behavioral changes sensitive to painful disc degeneration.." J Orthop Res 33, no. 5, 755-764 - 755-764.
  • Cornejo, M.C.; Cho, S.K.; Giannarelli, C.; Iatridis, J.C. et al., 2015, "Soluble factors from the notochordal-rich intervertebral disc inhibit endothelial cell invasion and vessel formation in the presence and absence of pro-inflammatory cytokines.." Osteoarthritis Cartilage 23, no. 3, 487-496 - 487-496.


  • Illien-Jünger, S.; Lu, Y.; Purmessur, D.; Mayer, J.E. et al., 2014, "Detrimental effects of discectomy on intervertebral disc biology can be decelerated by growth factor treatment during surgery: a large animal organ culture model.." Spine J 14, no. 11, 2724-2732 - 2724-2732.
  • Lu, Y.; Guzman, J.Z.; Purmessur, D.; Iatridis, J.C. et al., 2014, "Nonoperative management of discogenic back pain: a systematic review.." Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 39, no. 16, 1314-1324 - 1314-1324.
  • Guterl, C.C.; Torre, O.M.; Purmessur, D.; Dave, K. et al., 2014, "Characterization of mechanics and cytocompatibility of fibrin-genipin annulus fibrosus sealant with the addition of cell adhesion molecules.." Tissue Eng Part A 20, no. 17-18, 2536-2545 - 2536-2545.


  • Purmessur, D.; Guterl, C.C.; Cho, S.K.; Cornejo, M.C. et al., 2013, "Dynamic pressurization induces transition of notochordal cells to a mature phenotype while retaining production of important patterning ligands from development.." Arthritis Res Ther 15, no. 5, R122 - R122.
  • Abbott, R.D.; Purmessur, D.; Monsey, R.D.; Brigstock, D.R. et al., 2013, "Degenerative grade affects the responses of human nucleus pulposus cells to link-N, CTGF, and TGFβ3.." J Spinal Disord Tech 26, no. 3, E86-E94 - E86-E94.
  • Purmessur, D.; Walter, B.A.; Roughley, P.J.; Laudier, D.M. et al., 2013, "A role for TNFα in intervertebral disc degeneration: a non-recoverable catabolic shift.." Biochem Biophys Res Commun 433, no. 1, 151-156 - 151-156.
  • Purmessur, D.; Cornejo, M.C.; Cho, S.K.; Hecht, A.C. et al., 2013, "Notochordal cell-derived therapeutic strategies for discogenic back pain.." Global Spine J 3, no. 3, 201-218 - 201-218.


  • Richardson, S.M.; Purmessur, D.; Baird, P.; Probyn, B. et al., 2012, "Degenerate human nucleus pulposus cells promote neurite outgrowth in neural cells.." PLoS One 7, no. 10, e47735 - e47735.
  • Abbott, R.D.; Purmessur, D.; Monsey, R.D.; Iatridis, J.C., 2012, "Regenerative potential of TGFβ3 + Dex and notochordal cell conditioned media on degenerated human intervertebral disc cells.." J Orthop Res 30, no. 3, 482-488 - 482-488.


  • Walter, B.A.; Korecki, C.L.; Purmessur, D.; Roughley, P.J. et al., 2011, "Complex loading affects intervertebral disc mechanics and biology.." Osteoarthritis Cartilage 19, no. 8, 1011-1018 - 1011-1018.
  • Purmessur, D.; Schek, R.M.; Abbott, R.D.; Ballif, B.A. et al., 2011, "Notochordal conditioned media from tissue increases proteoglycan accumulation and promotes a healthy nucleus pulposus phenotype in human mesenchymal stem cells.." Arthritis Res Ther 13, no. 3, R81 - R81.


  • Iatridis, J.C.; Michalek, A.J.; Purmessur, D.; Korecki, C.L., 2009, "Localized Intervertebral Disc Injury Leads to Organ Level Changes in Structure, Cellularity, and Biosynthesis.." Cell Mol Bioeng 2, no. 3, 437-447 - 437-447.


  • Purmessur, D.; Freemont, A.J.; Hoyland, J.A., 2008, "Expression and regulation of neurotrophins in the nondegenerate and degenerate human intervertebral disc.." Arthritis Res Ther 10, no. 4, R99 - R99.


  • "Characterization and development of a degeneration model for the human cartilage endplate." 2018, Presented at ECM: Disc and Cartilage Regeneration and Repair meeting,
  • "Non-Viral Transfection of Human Nucleus Pulposus Cells with FOXF1 Induces Reprogramming to a Healthy Pro-anabolic Phenotype." 2019, Presented at ORS PSRS International Spine Research Symposium,
  • "Nonviral transfection of human intervertebral disc cells with transcription factors induces reprogramming to a healthy anti-catabolic/inflammatory phenotype with enhanced extracellular matrix accumulation." 2019, Presented at NYU Center for Skeletal and Craniofacial Biology (CSCB) 2019 Symposium,
  • "Characterization and development of an in vitro disease model of the human intervertebral disc cartilage end plate." 2019, Presented at The Orthopedic Research Society Annual Meeting,
  • "Mast Cell (MC)/Proteinase Activated Receptor 2 (PAR2) mediated interactions in the pathogenesis of discogenic back pain." 2019, Presented at The Orthopaedic Research Society Annual meeting,
  • "Development and Validation of a High-throughput Bioreactor System for Studying Mechano-sensing within the Intervertebral disc." 2018, Presented at World Congress of Biomechanics,
  • "Publication trends in spine research from 2007-2016: Comparison of the Orthopaedic Research Society Spine Section and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine." 2018, Presented at The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Annual meeting,
  • "Hypertrophic differentiation of Human Cartilage Endplate Cells Promote Catabolism, inflammation And Angiogenesis." 2017, Presented at Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting,
  • "Lactate as a bioactive ligand in the intervertebral disc." 2018, Presented at Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meeting,
  • "Mast Cells in the Pathogenesis of Painful Intervertebral Disc Degeneration." 2018, Presented at Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meeting,