Wann Group | Primary cilia in musculoskeletal health and disease
Research Group, Kennedy Institute
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 mechanotransduction. 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’m a principal investigator in the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Oxford. I have a Kennedy Trust fellowship within the Versus Arthritis Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis, which is enabling this translation of cilia biology to disease.
I am now involved in trying to understand how cells and tissue use cilia to make appropriate decisions and adaptations to physiological and pathophysiologically relevant cues such as mechanical force, inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. Ultimately the aim is to learn enough about ciliary regulation of signalling such as to exploit this contexts where signalling is ‘miss-tuned’ in disease. This involves working from the molecular level all the way through to models of human disease. This includes genomic and proteomic approaches, imaging with high resolution microscopy and the Diamond Light synchrotron to study the architecture of the peri-ciliary region and genetic and pre-clinical models to study tissue-level biology. We are starting to employ developmental engineering approaches, humanised organoid and organ on a chip models and have recently begun to screen clinical samples for changes in cilia and the ciliome.