Professor George Bou-Gharios was appointed in 2013 at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool. He brought with him transgenic expertise and animal models of connective tissue disease. George had a PhD at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (Imperial College London) and trained in molecular genetics and the generation of animal model at MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas, USA, under Benoit de Crombrugghe where he discovered a fibroblasts-specific enhancer in collagen 1a2 gene and used it to identify cells that are producing excessive matrix in fibrotic diseases such as Scleroderma in Dame Carol Black Lab.
He spent eight years at the MRC Clinical Science Centre, Hammersmith Hospital with Prof Terence Partridge before moving to Renal Medicine with Prof Patrick Maxwell. In 2008 he moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology prior to its relocation to Oxford.
In Liverpool, my group focuses on the regulation of matrix molecules that maintain connective tissue homeostasis. By investigating key enhancer sequences that regulate the developmental and adult expression of matrix proteins, we are able to use such sequences to target connective tissues in vivo, in a cell-specific manner. The ability to use pre-clinical models for gain and loss of functions of certain genes allow us to understand the mechanism(s) that underlie some of the connective tissue pathologies.