Arthritis Research UK Medical Research Council

Work Packages

Through our research programme, CIMA applies an integrated approach to understanding age-related changes in the whole musculoskeletal system, to understanding ways of ameliorating age-related deterioration in musculoskeletal function, and to reducing age-related musculoskeletal disorders. Our individual work packages provide the focus for specific studies to deliver integrated outcomes, as detailed below. In addition, our objectives are addressed through our training programme and through dissemination activities and engagement.

Integration of mechanistic research programmes

WP1: Integration of mechanistic research programmes

Lead: Prof John Loughlin (John.loughlin@newcastle.ac.uk)

Current Projects Include:

  • An examination using murine models of the epigenetic changes that occur with age in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (Bellantuono, Loughlin, Reynard)
  • Epigenetic regulation of stem cell differentiation to musculoskeletal tissue (Young, Clegg, Proctor)
  • How does glucose modulate age-related epigenetic alterations in musculoskeletal tissues (Laird, Loughlin, Reynard, Clegg)

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Monitoring and measuring age-related musculoskeletal decline

WP2: Monitoring and measuring age-related musculoskeletal decline

Lead: Prof Graham Kemp (gkemp@liverpool.ac.uk)

Current Projects Include:

  • Analysis of the upper body movements during gait for the assessment of locormotor ability. (Mazza, Rochester)
  • Development and validation of a biorealistic finite element model of the hip joint for identifying hip fracture risk (Eastell, Yang, Crompton, Bates, Akhtar)
  • DXA Region-Free Analysis (DXA-RFA): A new statistical approach for the CIMA toolkit. (Wilkinson, Aspray, Kemo, Frangi, Lang Lang)

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Development of existing and novel cohorts for studying musculoskeletal ageing and interventions

WP3: Development of existing and novel cohorts for studying musculoskeletal ageing and interventions

Lead: Prof Eugene McCloskey (e.v.mccloskey@sheffield.ac.uk)

Current Projects Include:

  • Development and establishment of a web-based CIMA central resource database to collate available cohorts within CIMA, (McCloskey, Jagger)

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State-of-the-art specific interventions to preserve musculoskeletal tissues

WP4: State-of-the-art specific interventions to preserve musculoskeletal tissues

Lead: Prof Anne McArdle (mdcr02@liverpool.ac.uk)

Current Projects Include:

  • Are older people at increased risk of adverse physiological consequences of sedentary behaviour? (Cuthbertson, Kemp, Trenell)
  • Does timing of feeding affect bone's response to exercise? A translational study from mice to humans. (Skerry, Mathers)
  • Establishment of a functional musculoskeletal test system to integrate the effects of bone anabolic agents on age-related musculoskeletal dysfuction (McArdle, Bellantunono, Jeffery)

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Lifestyle interventions

WP5: Lifestyle interventions

Lead: Prof John Mathers (john.mathers@newcastle.ac.uk)

Current Projects Include:

  • Are older people at increased risk of adverse physiological consequences of sedentary behaviour? (Cuthbertson, Kemp, Trenell)
  • Combining mechanical loading and anabolic therapy in postmenopausal women - a pilot study (McCloskey, Skerry, McCardle, Cuthbertson, Vasilaki)
  • Impact of physical activity and vitamin D supplementation in obese older adults with musculoskeletal pain: a cross-sectional study and randomised clinical trial (Hobbs, Cuthbertson, Mathers)

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