Skeletal Disease in the Cobb Collection

By Christopher Cross      

  The Cobb Research Laboratory (CRL) is a treasure chest full of secrets waiting to be discovered. With over 600 individuals' skeletal remains that have never been buried, essentially we have a small township of human capital in our possession.  Due to the unique nature of the collection it is irreplaceable and we are optimizing safe techniques and lobbying for new storage and lab facilities to preserve its integrity and longevity. The CRL is an example of using the past to not only predict the future but also change the present. Using next generation scientific techniques and interdisciplinary collaborations internally, domestically, and internationally we are contributing novel information on African Americans and their health disparities using these unique remains. The model we are establishing will help create a new path for science that is translational and clinically relevant. Currently, we have ongoing studies linking the anatomical abnormalities/signatures from trauma, syphilis, tuberculosis, Paget's disease, to periodontal disease just to name a few. There is so much information contained in these skeletons. We have the rare capability to further investigate  the causation and development of these individuals' skeletal disease using their own clinical records. If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, please take note of the depictions presented on this page to the right. We hope they are research-inspiring! **** 


PHOTOS: Damaged femur head. Inside of cranium stained by hemoglobin.Skull of an 81 year old woman with advanced osteological disease. Various long bones with rickets. Male skull.   Skull missing upper crania.