Biology, ecology and biomedical science at Brighton

University of Brighton biosciences blog

Dr Katherine Staines

Major grant for Brighton Rising Star researcher to study osteoarthritis

Dr Katherine Staines has been awarded a grant of £885,512 from the Medical Research Council, for a study on how disease and ageing impact on knee joints.

As well as boosting broader understanding of conditions affecting the skeleton, the grant will allow Dr Staines to develop and utilise new imaging technology to specifically understand what happens to knee joints in osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes significant pain and disability to millions of people, yet still lacks effective personalised treatment – a situation Dr Staines hopes to improve, building on growing musculoskeletal research within her own school and Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

Dr Staines said: “In osteoarthritis, joints undergo structural deterioration. Current osteoarthritis treatments are limited, however, and we are unable to identify those at risk of developing osteoarthritis. This study aims to identify whether the way in which you grow during childhood and adolescence defines the health of your joints in later life. My research will also use our newly developed imaging method to investigate what happens to the different structures in knee joints in osteoarthritis.”

After joining the university as senior lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences in January 2020, Dr Staines received internal Rising Star funding to probe mechanisms that may contribute to people having a predisposition to osteoarthritis. She has also been chosen to be the University of Brighton’s Early Career Researcher (ECR) ambassador – a role which involves providing support, networking and development opportunities to ECRs across the university.

Dr Staines will undertake her new research project in collaboration with Professor Peter Lee at UCL, and Professor Andrew Pitsillides at the Royal Veterinary College.

Laura Ruby • April 26, 2021

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