Our research is aimed at understanding the roles that stem cells (the cells that can give rise to new joint tissues) and stromal cells (the supporting connective tissue cells) in the joint play in the pathogenesis of arthritis.

 

We are seeking to devise ways in which we can harness their intrinsic ability to maintain and repair joint tissues in order to modulate disease outcome with the ultimate goal of maintaining and restoring healthy joints.

 

Our work covers a number of related research topics that span from discovery science to translational projects. These include:

  • Identifying the native stem/stromal cells that maintain and repair joints
  • Understanding the origins of the stem/stromal cells in the joint
  • Understanding how the native stem/stromal cells contribute to joint pathophysiology in osteoarthritis and in inflammatory arthritis
  • Understanding the molecular factors that regulate joint stem/stromal cells in health and arthritis in order to identify new therapeutic targets
  • Developing novel therapeutic strategies to target stem/stromal cells in the joint.

This research is carried out using several in vitro models with primary cells and cell lines and in vivo preclinical mouse models (transgenic mice for lineage tracing and conditional knockouts, and models of arthritis). For clinical relevance, findings are validated using human tissues and/or cells.

 

The research team is based at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the Foresterhill Health Campus.