Growing strength of Musculoskeletal research

Musculoskelatal Day 1

Keynote speaker, Dr Illaria Bellantuono of the University of Sheffield

MORE than 100 scientists attended the second Musculoskeletal Biology Science Day, firmly demonstrating the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease’s ‘strength in depth’ in this field.

Professor Anne McArdle said she was “delighted” by the success of the day, which came hot on the heels of confirmation of a £2.5m grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Arthritis Research UK to develop a Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing.

Professor McArdle said: “The day went very well and we were delighted with the ability of our students and post docs to showcase their work. Collaboration was also one of the main reasons for holding the event. We were able to facilitate a number of collaborations at the last Science Day and we hope the same will happen again.”

Nine submitted abstracts were chosen for oral presentation, in the Victoria Gallery and Museum’s Leggate Theatre, where they were joined by guest speakers, Professor Ian Clark of the University of East Anglia and Dr Illaria Bellantuono, from the University of Sheffield.

Professor Clark is a molecular cell biologist currently focused on the impact on cartilage metabolism of bioactive molecules derived from the diet, the role of microRNAs in chondorogenesis and osteoarthritis.

Dr Bellantuono is examining the changes which mesenchymal stem cells undergo with age, what molecular players are involved and how these impact on bone formation.

Professor Clark said: “It was good to see such high quality science and so many people involved in musculoskeletal research.”

Musculoskelatal Day 2

Dr George Sakellariou won best poster presentation

Those attending, including around 40 University academics, were able to utilise breaks to learn more about the department’s research activities from the extensive poster presentations on display in the Waterhouse Cafe.

The Anne Vaughan-Thomas prize for best poster presentation was scooped by Dr George Sakellariou, while Dr Helen Wright picked up the Anne Vaughan-Thomas prize for the best talk, entitled ‘Discovering cytokine-specific gene expression profiles in inflammatory neutrophils using whole transcriptome sequencing’.

Professor McArdle added: “Musculoskeletal ageing is becoming a critically important subject in the UK, and across the developed and developing world, frailty is a major health issue. Research in this field is crucial to keep people mobile.

“The day really demonstrated the strength in depth we have here at University of Liverpool and it is also an example of where the new structure has really worked. The development of the new institutes is bringing people together.”

Musculo 4

Professor John Innes presents Dr Helen Wright with the Anne Vaughan-Thomas prize for best oral presentation

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