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Dr Yoanna Ariosa-Morejon has joined the Arthritis Research UK Centre for OA Pathogenesis at the Kennedy Institute this January to investigate the 'Turnover and incorporation of new Type II collagen in normal and diseased cartilage', with Professor Tonia Vincent.

Daphne Jackson Fellowships are a unique scheme designed to return STEM professionals to their careers after a break. The Fellowships are flexible and include a tailored training programme designed to update skills and knowledge and support the Fellows in their return to research.

Thanks to the Daphne Jackson program and my sponsors, the Kennedy Trust and University of Oxford I will be able to return to research after four years of career break. - Dr Yoanna Ariosa-Morejon

Dr Yoanna Ariosa-Morejon will develop a challenging research project at the Kennnedy Institute, supported by Professor Vincent and her research group and co-supervisor Dr. John Christianson, from the Ludwig Cancer Research Institute.

Type II collagen has a reported half life of more than 100 years. This is thought to be a principal reason why cartilage has poor reparative capacity. Yoanna's project will use in vitro and in vivo techniques to ask what factors determine the amount and quality of type II collagen laid down before skeletal maturity, and whether repairing cartilage has the capacity to incorporate new type II collagen later in life.

Professor Vincent says: "We are delighted to embrace the Daphne Jackson Fellowship Scheme and welcome Yoanna into our OA Pathogenesis Centre. Yoanna's project addresses one of the most challenging and important issues of cartilage health - namely, does adult cartilage repair once it is damaged, and to what extent is this process limited by the negligible turnover of collagen in adult tissue".

Yoanna received scientific training at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and has held Research Scientist positions in both academia and industry. Before taking a career break to care for her young children, she most recently worked at a start-up Biotech company focusing on development of vaccines against fungal allergies.

Speaking of the award, Yoanna says: "Thanks to the Daphne Jackson program and my sponsors, the Kennedy Trust and University of Oxford I will be able to return to research after four years of career break. I'm really pleased and the Kennedy is such a vibrant place to work! Also, I have been fully supported during the whole process by both my advisor from the Daphne Jackson Trust and my supervisors at Oxford, I feel very fortunate"

The Daphne Jackson Trust, which runs the Fellowship scheme, aims to return researchers to their careers, helping retain a talented STEM workforce by offering flexible fellowships with mentoring and training to allow women and men to return to research after a career break of 2 or more years, for family, caring or health reasons. It supports equality and diversity in the research workforce and aims to develop partnerships that extend the reach and increase the impact of flexible working opportunities for STEM researchers.

The University of Oxford and the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research jointly sponsor this Daphne Jackson Fellowship.