Lab members

FB_IMG_1453334275431-1Katarzyna (Kasia) Piróg (PI)– Kasia did her PhD at the University of Manchester, generating and characterising transgenic models of chondrodysplasias. She then broadened that research scope to include investigation of other musculoskeletal tissues such as tendon, ligament and skeletal muscle, looking at the cell’s reaction to the production of mutant protein as well as the changes in the extracellular matrix and the biomechanical changes induced by them. She is specifically interested by cell-matrix interactions in musculoskeletal tissues in development, disease and during ageing. She is also passionate about disseminating science and engaging wih the public, she led a WP9 (Dissemination, training and commercialisation) package of the EU-FP7 SYBIL project, a Genomic Medicine PPI Working Group at the IGM and chaired the IGM Public Engagement committee (2013-2019). She is currently a Public Engagement lead for the Reproduction, Development and Child’s Health research theme at the Biosciences Institute and an elected committee member of the British Society of Matrix Biology (BSMB) Organising Committee.

Francesca de Sousa Brito is a post-doctoral researcher in the lab, kindly funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust and joining us in January 2020 for 3 years, to look at the role of an SLRP in cartilage ageing and osteoarthritis progression. Francesca obtained her PhD in Liverpool looking at the role of syndecans in musculoskeletal ageing and has experitse and keen interest in cartilage ageing and disease.

paddyElla (Paddy) Dennis (PostDoc, co-supervised with Prof Michael Briggs) – Ella started her PhD in 2014, after an MRes project in Prof Briggs’s lab investigating the mechanism of matrilin-3 mutations. She has defended her thesis “Investigating the role of the novel ER resident molecule, Creld2,  in cartilage development and disease” in November 2017 and is currently employed on the EU-H2020 MCDS-Therapy grant, looking at potential biomarkers that can be used in our clinical trial. She is also looking at the role of asporin in bone in our collaboration with Dr Sebastian Kalamajski at Lund University.

Rachel Pearson (MRes+PhD student) – Rachel will be joining us in Autumn 2019 as a JGW Patterson Foundation funded PhD student investigating the role of asporin in musculoskeletal ageing.  The project is utilising several mouse models as well as cell work and will yield new data on musculoskeletal ageing and health.

Spencer Howe (MRes student) – Spencer is joining us in February as a CIMA MRes student, working on tissue engineering a model of ageing cartilage in collaboration with Dr Ana Ferreira-Duarte from the School of Engineering.

Marc Farcasanu (PhD student) – Marc is a PhD student in the lab, joining us in April 2021 on an NC3Rs funded project to further refine out tissue engineered models of cartilage and to look at how age and disease affect mechanosensing in zonally stratified compressible models of cartilage.

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