Hereditary Multiple Exostoses (HME) is a pediatric skeletal disease characterized by benign tumors called exostoses that form next to the growth areas of the skeleton in children and young adults. The tumors can cause a number of health problems including growth retardation, skeletal deformities, chronic pain and early onset osteoarthritis. In some HME patients, the exostoses can change into malignant and invasive osteosarcomas and become life threatening. Our researchers have created models of the disease in mice, are studying the mechanisms by which the exostoses form and grow, and will test drug- and gene-based therapies to block exostosis formation. This research is supported by a 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, and is part of national and international cooperative research efforts with scientists and clinicians in California, Texas and Italy.