KTRR/VersusArthritis Research Fellow
I was an undergraduate student of Physiology at Cardiff. I received my PhD from St Georges University Medical School in 2009, where I worked on the mechanobiology of the synovial joint under Professor J.R Levick. From 2009 until 2014 I worked with Professor Martin Knight in a bioengineering group at Queen Mary University of London, studying the role of the primary cilium in a range of contexts but primarily the cellular response to mechanical cues. During the latter part of my time at Queen Mary I began to study how the cilium is altered by and regulates the cellular response to inflammatory cytokines.
I am now involved in trying to understand how this role and other putative regulatory interactions between the ciliome and pathologically important signalling are important in pathogenesis. Ultimately the aim is to learn enough about ciliary regulation of signalling such as to exploit this contexts where signalling is ‘miss-tuned’. This involves working from the molecular level, including high resolution microscopy, all the way through to models of human disease.We have recently begun to screen clinical samples for changes in cilia and the ciliome.
I’m keen to understand how ciliary regulation of signalling affects homeostasis and the workings of adult tissues and organs beyond the cell. I’m very keen to employ imaging to answer these questions but also a range of techniques and technologies to help translate the work up to physiology and pathology. For example we are uncovering regulatory roles for the ciliome in chondrocytes and adult, ageing and diseased cartilage using RNAseq, protease biochemistry, novel tissue culture models and mechanical pre-clinical models of disease.
I’m a new principal investigator in the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Oxford. I have a Kennedy fellowship within the Versus Arthritis Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis, which is enabling this translation of cilia biology to disease.