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

Collaborators

Dr Maya Boudiffa

The University of Sheffield

Dr Boudiffa is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism. Maya's wider role is to coordinate projects within CIMA to develop and optimise methods of assessing musculoskeletal ageing as well as increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying healthy ageing, with particular focus on bone. 

Research Interests: Bone ageing and age-related bone diseases

Dr Neil Chapman

The University of Sheffield


Dr Chapman is a Non-Clinical Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism.

CIMA PhD Studentship Co-Supervisor: 'Inflamm-ageing and tissue homeostasis: how does the inflammatory mediator TGFβ regulate the synthesis of degradation-resistant type 1 collagen (l).'

Research interests: Gene regulation by the nuclear factor kappaB family of transcription factors.

Dr Neil Chapman

CIMA MRes Student

Mr Codrin Condurache

The University of Sheffield

Codrin is a CIMA MRes student at the University of Sheffield.

Project supervisor: Professor Eugene McCloskey (Sheffield)

Collaborators

Dr Enrico Dall'Ara

The University of Sheffield

Enrico Dall'Ara is a Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Multiscale Imaging at the Department of Oncology and Metabolism.

Research interests: My research interests are related to better understanding bone mechanics and remodelling with imaging, experimental and computational methods. In particular the main goal of my research is to develop and validate computational models for the prediction of bone strength and risk of fracture in healthy and disease, applied to both preclinical and clinical studies.

Co-Investigators

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

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.

Professor Sue Mawson

The University of Sheffield

Professor Mawson is Professor of Health Services Research in the School of Health and Related Research. 

Research interests: improving the quality of life of people with long term conditions, particularly through exploration of the effectiveness of rehabilitative interventions and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support the self management of the rehabilitation process.

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 Gaynor Miller

The University of Sheffield

Dr Miller is a Lecturer in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism. 

Research interests: The molecular basis of muscle wasting and the role of macrophages in disease.


Dr Gaynor Miller

Professor Jon Nicholl

The University of Sheffield

Professor Nicholl is Professor of Health Services Research in the School of Health and Related Research. 


Research interests:
Health Services and Public Health research, with expertise in methodological research related to the design of health service evaluations, and I have a particular interest in the use of routine (e-health) data for HSR.

Professor Jon Nicholl

Professor Hilary Powers

The University of Sheffield

Professor Powers is Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Human Nutrition Unit.

Research interests: The role of micronutrients in the pathophysiology of human disease, including cancer. She uses cell culture systems, ex vivo systems and human intervention trials to address specific hypotheses relating nutrient activity with molecular, biochemical or cellular function relevant to carcinogenesis and other pathologies, and has an active interest in developing functional biomarkers of micronutrient status.


Professor Hilary Powers

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 Graham Russell

The University of Sheffield

Professor Russell has played a central role in studying the biological effects of bisphosphonates, and in their clinical development and evaluation for the treatment of bone disorders, which includes Paget’s disease, myeloma, cancer metastases in bone, and osteoporosis. His research interests have included bone cell biology, pathogenic mechanisms in bone and joint diseases such as arthritis, myeloma, bone metastases, and osteoporosis, the evaluation of new therapeutic agents and their mode of action, and the pharmacology of bone and cartilage.

Professor Graham Russell

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.

Professor Marco Viceconti

The University of Sheffield

Professor Viceconti is Professor of Biomechanics at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Professor Associate at the Department of Oncology and Metabolism.

Research interests: the development and validation of medical technology, especially that involving simulation, and primarily in relation to neuromusculoskeletal diseases.

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

Dr Elizabeth Williams

The University of Sheffield

Dr Williams is Senior Lecturer in the Medical School and Module Coordinator for the 'Principles of Human Nutrition: Relevance to Ageing' module as part of the CIMA MRes in Musculoskeletal Ageing. 

Research Interests: I have a long-standing research interest in diet and intestinal health and, in particular, biomarkers of colorectal cancer, and the role of butyrate and folate on colorectal carcinogenesis. I also have a research interest in the nutrition, health and wellbeing of older adults. This includes an interest in the relationship between diet, immune function and ageing, and the assessment of dietary intake in older adults.

Professor Steve Winder

The University of Sheffield

Professor Winder is Professor of Molecular Cell Biology in the Department of Biomedical Science. 

Research interests: understanding the normal functions of the cell adhesion and signalling adaptor protein dystroglycan and in diseases such as muscular dystrophy and cancer, and the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, adhesion mediated signalling and cell motility and invasion using molecular cell biology and transgenic approaches.


Professor Steve Winder

Dr Lang Yang

The University of Sheffield


Dr Yang is a Non-Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Human Metabolism.

CIMA PhD Studentship Collaborator: 'Development and validation of a biorealistic finite element module of the hip joint for identifying hip fracture risk.'

Research Interests: My current research interests are quantifying the effects of osteoporosis and its treatment on bone geometry, bone tissue distribution and structure, and bone mechanical strength, with particular focus on the proximal femur. Development of image processing and analysis methods for medical images is an essential part of my research, so does the structural engineering models generated from medical images. This has resulted in two streamlined analysis software, one for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and another for quantitative computer tomography of the hip. My research aims are to accurately assess the bone strength non-invasively and to develop diagnostic tools that accurately predict the risk of bone fracture and monitor the treatment effects.

I am also interested in understanding mechanical environment at fracture site and how that modulates biological processes of fracture healing. This involves the determination of mechanical properties of fracture fixation devices by mechanical testing, non-invasive assessment of the mechanical property of healing tissues and computer simulation of fracture healing.

Dr Lang Yang