March 12, 2021

Meet Cecilia Pascual-Garrido, MD, PhD 

 Assistant Professor, Joint Reconstruction, Resurfacing and Replacement

Dr. Pascual-Garrido specializes in hip preservation and arthroplasty procedures, including hip arthroscopy, soft tissue injuries, periacetabular osteotomies and total hip replacements.

Where are you from? 

I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina; it’s my favorite city in South America. I love the people, the coffee shops, the tango. Buenos Aires is the gem of South America…the European architecture and rich cultural life is unparalleled. However, the striking scenery of Patagonia makes this place my most-wanted place to be. Patagonia’s dramatic peaks, abundance of glaciers and array of unique wildlife makes it my favorite in the world. 

What made you choose orthopedics as a specialty? 

I am an active person. The idea of giving people back the opportunity to be active, like after a traumatic injury or illness, was mind blowing to me. I love helping people.

What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics? 

I was drawn to the department’s international reputation as a top research and innovation center. I am a both a physician and researcher, and each role is equally important to enabling the advancement of the other.

What research are you currently working on? 

 I am investigating the mediators of osteoarthritis in the pre-arthritic hip. Specifically, looking into epigenetic changes that occur at early stage of disease in hip impingement and dysplasia. We are hoping we can find specific pathways of degeneration that predispose these patients to progress to osteoarthritis. In other words, the goal is to develop interventional treatment to stop progression of the disease.

What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding? 

Giving my patients back the opportunity to be mobile again, and to improve their quality of life. I also love working with young talented orthopedic resident surgeons.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

 If you only do patient care, you will impact the lives of thousands of people, but if you also do meaningful research, you will have the opportunity to impact the lives of millions.

If you weren’t a doctor, what would you like to be doing?

 I’d be an Olympic athlete – a marathoner!

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work? 

 I love spending time with my dog, Windsor. We enjoy the mountains and hikes. My daily mediations changed my life positively…I believe in a balanced life.

For more about Dr. Pascual-Garrido, visit, or check out her physician profile.

Dr. Pascual-Garrido's research interests include cartilage regeneration, hip dysplasia, hip impingement, biomarkers, tissue engineering, stem cells, osteoarthritis.

Her ongoing research support includes:

Zimmer-Biomet: Pascual-Garrido (PI) 06/01/17-06-01/22

“Post-Market Data Collection for Biologically Assisted Core Decompression of the Femoral Head using the Perfuse Instrument and BioCUE”
The aim of this study is to evaluate clinical outcomes in patients with avascular necrosis of the femoral head treated with BMAC and PRP delivered in a novel biologically assisted core decompression technique. Role: PI

OREF Victor-Goldberg OA Grant: Pascual-Garrido (PI) 07/01/18-06/30/21
“Intraarticular Metabolic Activity in the Pre-Osteoarthritic Hip”
The purpose of the proposed project is to study the metabolic activity in the pre-OA joint, specifically the pre-OA hip. Hip dysplasia and hip FAI are true natural models of pre-OA. Pre-OA represents the long transition from normal, healthy cartilage to osteoarthritic cartilage. Identifying the specific molecular pathways that initiate joint degeneration may open a broad spectrum for a potential future application of diagnostic tools and interventional disease modifying OA drugs (DMOAD) for the treatment of pre-OA and secondary OA. Role: PI

NIAMS-NIH K08: K08 AR077740-01:  Pascual-Garrido (PI) 09/04/20-08/31/25
“Mediators of the OA Cascade in the Pre-Arthritic Hip”
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) has an etiologic role in up to 50% of hip osteoarthritic cases. While hip bone deformity has been well characterized in FAI, a major knowledge gap exists regarding the molecular and epigenetic events involved in disease progression. The goal of this research project is to identify critical biologic events, specifically transcriptome and methylation pathways involved in progression of hip osteoarthritic disease. Role: PI

OREF Mentored Clinician Scientist Award: Pascual-Garrido (PI) 12/01/20-11/30/21
“Mediators of the OA Cascade in the Pre-Arthritic Hip”
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) has come to the forefront as the most common cause of hip pain, pre-arthritic hip dysfunction and eventual secondary OA. The objective of this project is to identify critical biologic events that are fundamental mediators of the OA cascade in hip FAI. Role: PI


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