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The newly created Tissue Biology platform offers a pipeline for translational research into musculoskeletal and mechano-inflammatory disease. By supporting complex models of disease, including use of in vitro human tissue models, and by facilitating analysis of diseased human tissues in the laboratory and through early phase clinical studies, the platform aims to support molecular discovery and validation of target pathways for translation into the clinic.   

The platform brings together the Institute’s established expertise in histology and human tissue management with approaches and technologies to examine how cells interact with each other and their environment in tissues at steady state, in response to injury, and during disease. Technologies include proteomics, spatial proteomics, stem cell biology, 3D organoid systems and organs-on-a-chip. The platform also provides administrative support for new Experimental Medicine studies in collaboration with the Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit. This translational pipeline is relevant to diseases of interest across the Institute including osteoarthritis, fibrotic disease, tendinopathy, cancer, atherosclerosis and inflammatory arthritis. 



  • The Tissue Biology platform links closely with the Clinical Pathology platform, with both platforms supporting experimental medicine studies.  Beyond supporting groups at the Kennedy Institute in their research programmes, the Platform works with other research units both within and external to the University. In particular, the platform will partner with the University of Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the Botnar Institute for Musculoskeletal Sciences on development of complex in vitro systems to model cellular interactions in tissues and a link to the Experimental Medicine studies within the Oxford Clinical Trials Unit.

  • Activities are supported by existing clinical programmes and centres including the Institute’s Clinical Pathology Platform, Centre for OA Pathogenesis Versus Arthritis, Translational Gastroenterology Unit and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.  

TNF Receptor 2 Signaling Prevents DNA Methylation at the Foxp3 Promoter and Prevents Pathogenic Conversion of Regulatory T Cells

Journal article

McCann F., (2020), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA

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