Arthritis Research UK Medical Research Council

CIMA Profiles - The University of Sheffield

CIMA is led by the Centre Director, Professor Malcolm Jackson, in collaboration with Site Directors Professor Eugene McCloskey 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.


Co-Investigators

Professor Ilaria Bellantuono

The University of Sheffield

Professor Bellantuono graduated in 1992 with an MD degree from the University of Pavia, Italy and completed a PhD in the department of Experimental Haematology, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester in 1998. She undertook post-doctoral training in the Department of Immunology, Imperial College. In 2001, Dr Bellantuono relocated to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as a team leader and was awarded an honorary lectureship in stem cell biology at the University of Manchester in 2002. Ilaria was appointed as a Lecturer in Bone Biology at the University of Sheffield in 2005 and is currently Proefssor in Musculoskeletal Ageing.

Ilaria’s main research is in determining the changes mesenchymal stem cells undergo with age, identifying what are the molecular players involved and how these impact on bone formation. An understanding of the pathways involved in stem cell ageing will lead to more targeted therapeutic strategies to promote healthier bone ageing. 

Ilaria has identified loss of proliferation and differentiation ability in mesenchymal stem cells with age. This was associated with shortening of telomeres in vitro and in vivo. She is now determining the pathways involved, including the Notch/Wnt signalling pathway, using a combination of in vitro and in vivo models. She is also using small molecules to both understand basic mechanisms regulating stem cell fate and to target specific pathways to delay ageing. 

Ilaria is also leading the innovative Shared Ageing Research Models (ShARM) resource funded by Wellcome Trust to support the rapidly growing volume of research on biology of ageing using mouse models. It combines web-based information systems with a physical tissue bank. This is a collaboration with members of the Centre for Integrated Systems Biology of Ageing and Nutrition in Newcastle, the International Centre for Mouse Genetics, MRC Harwell the members of the Institute for Ageing and Chronic Diseases in Liverpool, the Faculty of Life Sciences in Manchester and The European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing in Groeningen.

Ilaria’s research is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Leukaemia Research Fund, Wellcome Trust and AstraZeneca.

Professor Ilaria Bellantuono

Professor Richard Eastell

The University of Sheffield

Biography: Professor Eastell graduated in Medicine from Edinburgh University in 1977 and trained as an endocrinologist in Edinburgh, London (Northwick Park Hospital) and the USA (Mayo Clinic) before coming to work in Sheffield in 1989. Currently the head of the Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism, he was awarded funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in April 2008 to set up the Sheffield Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) in Bone Diseases and has since been appointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator. Professor Eastell is also an Honorary Consultant Physician in metabolic bone disease at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield. 

Richard has received several awards; these include Hospital Doctor of the Year in the osteoporosis category (1997), the Corrigan Medal of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (1998), the Kohn Foundation award from the National Osteoporosis Society (2004) and the Society of Endocrinology Medal (2004). He has authored or co-authored over 200 papers on osteoporosis and related topics and is also Associate Editor for the journal Bone and a member of the editorial board of Osteoporosis International. Richard is Past President of the European Calcified Tissue Society and Bone Research Society and Past Chairman of the National Osteoporosis Society.

Research: Well known for his work on biochemical markers of bone turnover and the definition of osteoporotic vertebral fractures, Richard has wide-ranging research interests. He leads an active group that conducts research into all aspects of osteoporosis, funded by the NIHR, MRC and AR UK and in collaboration with important international research groups, such as the Universities of Kiel (Germany) and California, San Francisco (USA) and the Mayo Clinic (USA). The main foci of Richard’s current research include anabolic treatments for osteoporosis, novel tests for bone turnover markers and biomechanics of hip and spine fracture.

Professor Richard Eastell

Collaborators

Professor Alison Gartland

The University of Sheffield


Professor Gartland is Professor of Bone and in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism.

CIMA PhD Studentship Co-Supervisor: 'The effects of cartilage-dependent matriptase activity on remodelling events in cartilage and bone in health and disease.'

Research interests: My research interests are in P2 receptor signalling in musculoskeletal disease and cancer. The role of P2 purinoreceptor ligands (ATP and other nucleotides) as extracellular messengers is well established and there is now conclusive evidence, from my previous work and that of others, that extracellular nucleotides have a highly influential role in the bone microenvironment.In addition to their roles in bone, nucleotides have been shown to play a role in cancer and synergise with growth factors to stimulate c-fos gene expression, cell proliferation and neoplastic progression.

Professor Alison Gartland

CIMA MRes Student

Mr John Gostage

The University of Sheffield

I possess a first-class masters in biomedical sciences (specialising in anatomy) from Cardiff University. During my undergraduate study I undertook a professional training year in the bone research labs in the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. Under the supervision of Dr. Bronwen Evans and Prof. John Gregory, I investigated the role of extracellular vesicles within the bone microenvironment; specifically, whether osteocyte derived extracellular vesicles could drive osteoclastogenesis and adipogenesis. My masters research project, which was supervised by Prof. Clare Hughes, saw me investigate the effect of novel allosteric inhibitors on cartilage degradation within an osteoarthritic model. During my time in Cardiff, I also became a member of the Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regeneration (CITER) and an anatomy demonstrator. With these roles came involvement at many public and educational engagement events, as well as teaching future doctors, anatomists and scientists. With a huge interest in musculoskeletal science, the next logical step for me was to undertake a PhD - I was fortunate enough to be accepted on the CIMA MRes and PhD programme. I am currently in the midst of my CIMA musculoskeletal agining MRes, in which I am gaining training on in vitro muscle analysis in the National University of Ireland, Galway. Under the supervision of Dr. Kasia Whysall I am investigating the influence of osteoprotegerin (RANKL decoy receptor) on various muscle cells. The work carried out in my MRes will be transferable to my PhD, in which the project aims to extend knowledge of role of RANKL on muscle in pre-clinical models; determine changes in muscle mass, strength and performance in patients undergoing short and long-term exposure to the osteoporotic drug, Denosumab (RANKL inhibitor). My PhD will be supervised by Prof. Eugene McCloskey and Prof. Ilaria Bellantuono in the University of Sheffield.

Mr John Gostage

Collaborators

Professor Elizabeth Goyder

The University of Sheffield

Professor Liddy Goyder is Professor of Public Health in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHaRR).

Research interests: Type 2 diabetes and health inequalities, currently with a focus on evidence-based public health – both evidence synthesis and knowledge translation.

Dr Claudia Mazzà

The University of Sheffield


Dr Mazzà is Reader in Biomechanics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Mellanby Centre for Bone Research.

CIMA PhD Studentship Primary Supervisor: 'Analysis of the upper body movements during gait for the assessment of locormotor ability.'

Research interests: Biomechanics, gait analysis, gait and postural control, technologies for human movement analysis, musculoskeletal modelling

Dr Claudia Mazzà

Directors

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

Collaborators

Dr Clare Relton

The University of Sheffield

Dr Relton is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHaRR). 

Research interests: the design of practical/pragmatic randomised controlled trials

Co-Investigators

Professor Stephen Renshaw

The University of Sheffield

Stephen Renshaw is Sir Arthur Hall Professor of Medicine in Sheffield, an MRC Senior Clinical Fellow and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician. He combines clinical work in respiratory medicine with research into the molecular controls of neutrophil function and inflammation resolution. Professor Renshaw’s work encompasses work on primary human neutrophils, but increasingly uses the zebrafish to model neutrophil function in vivo. Using these models he has identified novel pro-resolution drug targets and identified a compound from in vivo compound screens that promotes inflammation resolution by driving reverse migration -  a new pathway for treating inflammation. These models lend themselves well to testing the influence of inflammation on degeneration and regeneration of muscle and bone, as well as for the identification of new pathways and treatments for modulating muscle and bone ageing.

Professor Stephen Renshaw

Collaborators

Professor Tim Skerry

The University of Sheffield

Professor Skerry is Professor of Orthopaedic Biology and Head of the Department of Oncology and Metabolism. 

CIMA PhD Studentship Primary Supervisor: 'Does timing of feeding effect bone's response to exercise? A translational study,'

CIMA PhD Studentship Co-Supervisor: 'Combining mechanical laoding and anabolic  therapy in postmenopausal women - a pilot study.'

Research Interests: Bone biology, particularly the way that the skeleton responds to exercise and specifically the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind that response.

CIMA PhD Student

MIss Esme Tuttiett

The University of Sheffield

I have an academic background in Biomedical Science (BSc) and Sport and Exercise Nutrition (MSc). In addition to that, I have spent some time working with professional sports teams (British Athletics, as well as both Saracens and Hong Kong Rugby teams) aiding them with nutrition support. I hope to focus my PhD project over the next 3.5 years on investigating nutritional interventions, alongside exercise, and their synergistic effects on the prevention of musculoskeletal diseases.

MIss Esme Tuttiett

Collaborators

Dr Jennifer Walsh

The University of Sheffield

Dr Walsh is Senior (Clinical) Lecturer and a member of the Mellanby Centre for Bone Research. 

Clinical interests: young adult bone disease and endocrinology, and the late effects of cancer

Research interests: bone microarchitecture in skeletal maturation and ageing, the interactions of fat and bone, and treatment of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases

Professor Mark Wilkinson

The University of Sheffield

Professor Wilkinson is Professor of Orthopaedics in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism.

Research interests: Joint arthroplasty mechanisms of failure, cytokine genetics, metabolic bone disease, novel biological therapies for osteolysis, surrogate outcome markers for implant performance and failure, clinical outcomes measurement after THA, genetics of bone shape and remodelling responses to disease, genetics of osteoarthritis, effects of metal ion exposure on bone and other organ systems

Co-Investigators

Professor Mark Wilkinson

The University of Sheffield

J Mark Wilkinson PhD FRCS (Ortho & Tr) is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Sheffield, and honorary consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is the President of the British Orthopaedic Research Society and an executive member of the National Joint Registry for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man, and chairs its research committee. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Orthopaedic Research Society in the United States and is an editorial board member of several orthopaedic journals. His academic interests are in the pathogenesis of diseases leading to joint replacement and the subsequent interactions between the patient and the prosthetic implant and the outcomes of joint replacement surgery. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and lectures internationally on these topics. His current funding sources include the NIHR, MRC, Arthritis Research UK, and the Health Quality Improvement Partnership. He has received the Gold Medal and Association Award of the British Orthopaedic Association, The William Harris Award of the Orthopaedic Research Society (United States), and in 2018 the Otto Aufranc Award of the American Hip Society for his work on the genetics of hip diseases.

Professor Mark Wilkinson