Arthritis Research UK Medical Research Council

CIMA Profiles

CIMA is led by the Centre Director, Professor Eugene McCloskey, in collaboration with Site Directors Professor Malcolm Jackson and Professor John Loughlin. To view the profiles of our Directors, Co-Investigators, Research Collaborators and Students at each site, please click on the 'View Profiles' buttons at the bottom of this page.


Professor Malcolm Jackson

University of Liverpool

Biography: Professor Jackson graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Surrey in 1974, completed a PhD at University College London in 1980, was awarded a DSc in 1994 and FRCPath in 1997. He was a Lecturer at University College London in 1982, Senior Lecturer at Liverpool University in 1984 and appointed Professor in 1994. He has served as Head of the Department of Medicine (1997-2001), Deputy Dean (2000-2001), Interim Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (2001-2002) and Associate Dean for Research (2005-2009). He was Head of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease from 2010 to 2016. Malcolm has served on the MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board and Interdisciplinary Expert Group on ME/CFS, the BBSRC Healthy Organism Strategy Panel and Ageing Working Group and the Joint Research Councils Life Long Health and Wellbeing Panel. He was Deputy Chair of the Research into Ageing National Scientific Advisory Committee (2003-2006) and has been President of the Society for Free Radical Research-International.

Research: Malcolm’s primary research interests are in the roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cell signaling and degeneration, particularly relating to ageing and skeletal muscle. His group made some of the earliest descriptions of free radical generation by contracting skeletal muscle and of the effects of antioxidants. He has characterised the role of ROS as mediators of muscle damage following lengthening contractions and was among the first to recognise the physiological roles of ROS as mediators of adaptive responses to stress, specifically relating to skeletal muscle. His group has also contributed new analytical approaches to studying ROS in muscle in cell culture models and in vivo allowing them to characterise the multiple pathways for ROS generation in skeletal muscle. He has also identified protein targets for oxidation in ageing skeletal muscle. More recent work has sought to understand the role of ROS in normal muscle physiology and ageing with translation of the work through human biopsy and intervention studies.

Professor Malcolm Jackson

Professor John Loughlin

Newcastle University

Biography: Professor Loughlin is a molecular and cell biologist with a background in genetics. His first degree was in applied biochemistry at Liverpool John Moores University followed by a PhD in developmental biology at the University of Leeds. His postdoctoral studies were undertaken in the group of Professor Bryan Sykes at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford. These involved a molecular genetic analysis of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. He subsequently obtained a fellowship from the Arthritis Research Campaign (now known as Arthritis Research UK) and established a group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. At that point his focus became the genetic analysis of osteoarthritis (OA). In 2002 he was awarded a tenured lectureship at Oxford and in 2008 moved to Newcastle as Professor of Musculoskeletal Research. Professor Loughlin is Professor of Musculoskeletal Research in the Institute of Cellular Medicine. 

Research: My group's principal research focus is identifying and then characterising those genes that confer risk towards the development and progression of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disease involving loss of normal joint function. It is painful, debilitating and impacts not only on the quality of life but also on the length of life ( form of the disease that we mostly work on is the one that arises without an obvious cause, such as in the absence of a clear injury. This form of OA, known as primary OA, affects older people.

A number of epidemiological studies have demonstrated that OA has a large genetic component. Through the application of powerful genome-wide association scans involving tens of thousands of OA patients we have identified a number genes harbouring susceptibility alleles for OA. Our efforts are directed toward comprehensive functional analysis of the risk alleles within these genes and in others that are emerging from ongoing scans (

Professor John Loughlin

Professor Eugene McCloskey

The University of Sheffield

Biography: Professor McCloskey graduated in Medicine from Trinity College, Dublin in 1983. Having initially trained in endocrinology, he developed an interest in the mechanisms of malignant bone disease and has been involved in several clinical trials of bisphosphonates in multiple myeloma and breast cancer that have established the role of antiosteoclastic therapy in malignant disease. He subsequently trained in rheumatology before deciding to focus exclusively on metabolic bone diseases. Currently, Professor in Adult Bone Diseases in the Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism, he is also an Honorary Consultant Physician in metabolic bone disease at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield. He has published over 150 peerreviewed articles, book chapters and reviews and is currently Secretary of the Bone Research Society, Chair of the ASBMR Ancillary Program Committee and Chair of the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group Implementation Committee as well as a member of the ARUK Research sub-committee, the National Specialty Group for Musculoskeletal Diseases, the International Osteoporosis Foundation’s Committee of Scientific Advisors and the Board of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis.

Research: Eugene has been principal investigator in a large number of MRC and pharmaceutical-funded osteoporosis studies and is acknowledged as an expert in vertebral fracture definition and epidemiology, as well as non-invasive assessments of bone strength and fracture risk. He has been involved with writing guidelines (for the Royal College of Physicians, the British Association of Surgical Oncologists and the Bone Research Society) and Health Technology Assessments. More recently, he has contributed to the development of the FRAX tool for estimating fracture risk. He has important collaborations with national and international research groups such as King’s College (London), Erasmus Medical Centre (Rotterdam), Harvard Medical School (Boston) and the University of Queensland (Brisbane). The main foci of Eugene’s current research include risk factor models for osteoporosis and the potential interactions between physical and pharmacological therapies to improve musculoskeletal health.

Professor Eugene McCloskey