Photo of Professor Mandy Peffers

Professor Mandy Peffers BSc(Hons)MPhil PhD BVetMed FRCVS

Wellcome Trust Clinical Intermediate Fellow Musculoskeletal & Ageing Science

    Research

    Research Overview

    I am Research Lead for the Department of Musculoskeletal Science and Ageing within the Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences. Our group research epigenetic mechanisms of musculoskeletal ageing and disease (specifically osteoarthritis and tendon disease). I am particularly interested in the role of small nucleolar RNAs in osteoarthritis and cartilage ageing. We are also now investigating extracellular vesicles as treatments for equine osteoarthritis.

    Defining the role and mechanisms of small nucleolar RNAs in cartilage ageing and disease

    This project aims to test the hypothesis that the age-related dysregulation of the expression of a defined set of small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) alters the chondrocyte phenotype through altered translational capacity which contributes to the development of osteoarthritis. We will determine what snoRNAs are altered in ageing and/or osteoarthritis, what their role is in cartilage ageing and OA and how they alter the risk of OA. Altering the expression of these snoRNAs will change disease progression and enable targets for therapeutics to be identified.

    Small non-coding RNAs to stratify osteoarthritis in the horse

    Overview of PhD Studentship identifying small non-coding RNAS of early equine osteoarthritis
    Overview of PhD Studentship identifying small non-coding RNAS of early equine osteoarthritis

    I have a Horse Trust funded studentship being undertaken by Catarina Castenheira. This studentship aims to identify small non-coding RNAs in synovial fluid and serum and develop an assay to diagnose early osteoarthritis in the horse. Additionally we will classify the microvesicle population in normal and OA synovial fluid and identify small non-coding RNA cross-talk between chondrocytes and synoviocytes to identify potential treatment targets for early OA

    Tendon proteomics, epigenetics and transcriptomics in ageing and disease

    Overview of CIMA funded PhD studentship identifying epigenetic chnages n tendon ageing
    Overview of CIMA funded PhD studentship identifying epigenetic chnages n tendon ageing

    I have undertaken a number of studies (using next generation sequencing technologies such as RNASeq, microarray, miRNASEq, mass spectrometry-based proteomics) on horse, rat and human tendon in order to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying tendon ageing and disease.

    Currently I have a PhD student funded by CIMA investigating the epiegenetics of tendon ageing through the interrogation of DNA methylation and small non-coding RNAs.

    Research Grants

    Bench fees for Ufuk Ersoy / 201443759

    TURKISH EMBASSY (LONDON)

    February 2021 - January 2023

    investigation of the structure and cargo of extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stem cells used for treatment of osteoarthritis in horses

    HORSERACE BETTING LEVY BOARD (UK)

    July 2020 - June 2022

    Identification of small non-coding RNAs in canine cranial cruciate ligament rupture as diagnostic and therapeutic targets

    PET PLAN CHARITABLE TRUST (UK)

    October 2021 - September 2024

    Identifying risk factors and improving outcomes in cases of small intestinal strangulating lipoma

    ARDEN AND CLAUDIA SIMS (USA)

    October 2021 - October 2024

    Equine Post Doctoral Fellowship - Dr Agnieszka Turlo

    HORSERACE BETTING LEVY BOARD (UK)

    October 2020 - September 2023

    Investigating the role and mechanisms of small non-coding RNAs in chondrosarcoma: A small RNA sequencing approach.

    SARCOMA UK (UK)

    September 2018 - February 2021

    Small non-coding RNAs to stratify osteoarthritis in the horse

    THE HORSE TRUST (UK)

    June 2019 - November 2022

    Bench fees - Mr Aibek Smagul

    MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN (KAZAKHSTAN)

    September 2016 - August 2020

    In-vitro study of the effects of magnesium, morphine and mepivavaine on equine joints

    HORSERACE BETTING LEVY BOARD (UK)

    February 2015 - December 2016

    2014 allocation - Wellcome ISSF non clinical fellowships

    WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

    May 2015 - October 2018

    Defining the role and mechanisms of small nucleolar RNAs in cartilage

    WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

    September 2015 - December 2021

    The stratification of osteoarthritis to improve equine welfare

    THE HORSE TRUST (UK)

    September 2015 - August 2018

    Determining novel mechanisms of joint destruction as biomarker for arthropathy

    LIVERPOOL HEALTH PARTNERS (UK)

    June 2013 - July 2016

    Research Collaborations

    Dr John Collins

    External: Thomas Jefferson University, USA

    Oxidative stress snoRNAs in osteoarthritis.

    Dr Victoria James

    Project: Extracellular vesicles to treat osteoarthritis
    External: University of Nottingham

    Dr James is an expert in extracellular vesicles and is collaborating with us in a number of extracellular vesicle projects funded by The Horse Trust, Horserace Betting Levy Board and The Wellcome Trust,

    Prof Tim Welting

    Project: SnoRNAs in osteoarthritis
    External: Maastricht Medical Centre

    Our two groups work together on a number of snoRNA and ribosome projects in cartilage and anterior cruciate ligaments.