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RVC fully funded (EU/UK) PhD: Gene therapy for cartilage regeneration in osteoarthritis
The Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Closing date: Sun 9 Feb 2020.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in humans. By 2050 it is estimated that 40 million people worldwide will be severely disabled by this disease. OA is characterized by the alteration of joint homeostasis and an anabolic/catabolic imbalance in the cells resident within joint tissues. Central to the disease is the loss of cartilage integrity resulting in large erosions. A key event in OA pathology is the transition of the stable articular cartilage chondrocyte into a catabolic hypertrophic chondrocyte. These hypertrophic cells secrete matrix-degrading enzymes, growth factors and pro-inflammatory mediators that destroy matrix and cause ‘normal’ chondrocytes to transition to hypertrophy. This project aims to develop a gene therapy solution to reverse this pathological process and induce articular cartilage regeneration.
Viral introduction of genes to the joint environment has recently been shown to be an effective strategy to control inflammatory processes in horse OA models, and is currently being developed for veterinary and human applications. Herein, we propose the viral delivery of a protein with regenerative potential in OA. It is envisaged that this project will contribute to the development of a therapeutic with applications to equine and human medicine. Indeed, data exists to suggest that disease modification will be achieved in both species. This is of importance as currently there is no approved drug that can modify disease in OA.
We are seeking a highly motivated student to advance this exciting gene therapy project. As the successful candidate, you will have the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of regenerative medicine and OA therapeutic development.
Dr Scott Roberts: firstname.lastname@example.org
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