Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Stephanie Dakin is Associate Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences in the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS). In her story, Stephanie tells us about her career to date, what motivated her to collaborate with an industry partner, and how collaboration has been pivotal to advancing both her research and her career.

Associate Professor Stephanie Dakin, alongside quote "The opportunity to collaborate with industry partners has been pivotal in my transition from Early Career Researcher to Principal Investigator".

Firstly, please tell us a little about your career to date and your experience of working with industry

I forged a collaboration with industry in 2016 during my second postdoc when I was awarded an Oxford-BMS Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences at NDORMS to advance our research on inflammatory fibrosis in tendinopathy. As an early career PI in 2020, I broadened the focus of my research group to encompass other diseases of joint soft tissues including frozen shoulder and knee arthrofibrosis. During this time, I was fortunate to gain further funding from an NIBR Global Scholars Program to support our work on inflammatory fibrosis in tendinopathy and an Oxford-Bristol Myers Squibb Fellowship to develop advanced 3D model systems for frozen shoulder. This funding has been pivotal in supporting the expansion of my research group, facilitating the recruitment of 2 postdocs, a lab manager and providing continued funding for research nurses to work on our soft tissue joint disease programme.

What inspired you to collaborate with Industry?

I was highly motivated to work with industry partners for several reasons. Firstly, it presents an unparalleled opportunity to gain translational insights into your research projects. I believe that many eyes on a project help to advance science! In addition to providing new insights, working with industry partners provides a robust framework in terms of regular progress updates. For example, quarterly meetings and six-month reporting enable you to see how much progress the projects are making. Industry collaborations retain focus on translational outputs and having input from industry experts can catalyse significant translational developments in a research programme.

How did you approach collaborating with an industry partner?

The Business Partnerships Office has been pivotal in enabling my research group to establish connections with industry partners. This has been realised from the initial approaches to seek funding from industry partners to the formalisation of grants and project delivery. I am hugely thankful to Charlotte and Denitsa for their continued support with our industry partners within the Medical Sciences, which has taken the form of scholarships and fellowship funding for myself and postdocs in my research group. This engagement has also fostered participation in new initiatives, including partnerships with industry fellows and annual symposia with industry partners, providing valuable insights into their broader research themes.

How does working in collaboration with industry help you and your research?

The opportunity to collaborate with industry partners has been pivotal in my transition from early career researcher to Principal Investigator, supporting the expansion of my research group and consolidating my international expertise in soft tissue joint disease. Our industry collaborations have generated tangible outputs including high-impact publications, follow-on funding, expanding my research group and network, and ultimately advancements towards translation research that will benefit patients. Importantly, these interactions have been dynamic and fun!

What are your top three tips for collaborating with industry?

  1. Have shared research goals
  2. Respect their timelines and business framework
  3. Build trust and respect