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Osteoarthritis: a case of cellular mismanagement?

66 months
Approved budget:
Dr Raewyn Poulsen
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
My goal is to utilise the skills obtained during 5½ years of postdoctoral training in the field of musculoskeletal cell biology to identify the mechanisms underlying the development of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability in adults worldwide. Currently there are no disease-modifying therapies to treat osteoarthritis. Disease occurs due to renegade activity of cartilage cells (chondrocytes) resulting in cartilage destruction. By studying chondrocytes isolated from osteoarthritic patients, I will determine the cause of the change in cell behaviour in disease. In particular I will determine whether signals from bone influence chondrocyte fate. I will also determine whether disruption to the internal time-keeping system which controls the scheduling of chondrocyte activity and controls chondrocyte lifecycle is responsible for the disease-associated change in cell behaviour. This study will provide novel insight into osteoarthritis development; a critical step to enable the future development of therapies to combat disease.