About our research

 

Connective tissues are dynamic systems, which are continually undergoing change throughout development and adult life. Connective tissue homeostasis (the biosynthesis, deposition, degradation and turnover of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules is controlled primarily by the major resident cell type and their response to stimuli such as specific cytokines, growth factors and surface receptors. The turnover of ECM s regulated by proteolytic enzymes including metzencin family of enzymes as well as others.  We are using transgenic approaches to investigate the disregulation of the ECM synthesis and breakdown that lead to two opposing pathology aspects of connective tissue.

                                                            

1. Fibrosis

In fibrosis the repair process that include synthesis and deposition of new components is impaired for unknown reason. Accompanying these events is a fundamental genetic reprogramming of the resident cell, the fibroblast resulting in differential expression of matrix modulating enzymes such as metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors (TIMPs). We are investigating the effect of genes that influence that balance in gain and loss of function experiments to readdress the balance.

 

2. Osteoarthritis (OA), the commonest form of joint disease, is characterized by the progressive destruction of articular cartilage matrix. We are taking a broad view at the whole synovial joints from synovium, ligaments, bone and articular cartilage to investigate what goes wrong in OA and way to ameliorate the disease

 

We are situated in the IACD

University of Liverpool 

Apex2

6 West Derby Street

Liverpool L7 8TX

United Kingdom

 

We have a vast experience in generating transgenic mice for gain and loss of function. We have recently adopted CRISPR  for genetic modification.

We have used in vivo imaging to trace cell specific population in musculoskeletal environment.

We have a number of inducible Cre recombinase mice that can target fibroblasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts