Miguel Otero, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, joined this laboratory after completing pre-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Oreste Gualillo in Spain, where he studied the interactions between adipocytokines and inflammatory mediators in arthritis. He has expertise in chondrocyte biology, development of stable cell lines,molecular analysis of gene expression by real-time PCR, promoter-reporter analysis, inhibitory RNA techniques, immunohistochemistry, and mouse models. His work focuses on the regulation of MMP-13 gene expression in vitro and in vivo. He currently holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship entitled “ESE-1 and adipokines: A novel circuit in proinflammatory signaling” from the Arthritis Foundation, New York Chapter.
Darren A. Plumb, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, joined this laboratory after completing pre-doctoral training in the laboratory of Ray Boot-Handford at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Manchester, UK. For his PhD work, he found that type XXVII collagen is expressed in normal cartilage and is important for skeletal development and used gene targeting to generate mice carrying mutant forms of type XXVII collagen for functional and phenotypic studies. He has expertise in the design of probes for in situ hybridization, production of recombinant protein to generate antiserum for immunohistochemistry and ImmunoEM, and generation of transgenic mice. His current work focuses on the generation, maintenance, and characterization of mouse models, including application of surgical OA to Elf3/Ese1 and Gadd45b knockout mice.
Ko Hashimoto, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, is a trained Orthopaedic Surgeon originally from Tohoku University, Japan. He joined this laboratory after performing postdoctoral research at Bone and Joint Research Group, University of Southampton, UK, with Dr. H. I. (Trudy) Roach and continues work on a project entitled “Epigenetic regulation of MMP-13” (R21-AR054887). These studies involve investigating epigenetic mechanisms regulating the expression of MMP-13. He is currently evaluating whether MMP-13 promoter activity is determined by the interactions between DNA methylation status and transcription factor binding to cognate binding sites.
Marta Favero, MD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, recently completed specialty training in Rheumatology at the University of Padova, Italy, with Prof. Leonardo Punzi and is working on her PhD. She is participating in a study involving molecular analyses of retrieved tissues from surgical patients with osteoarthritis, including synovium, cartilage and synovial fluid. These will involve genomics and proteomics analyses in relation to clinical databases to find biomarker associations in different subsets of the disease.
Cecilia Dragomir, MD, Research Coordinator, received training in Ophthalmology in Romania and has considerable expertise in the analysis of human and mouse tissues by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. She also helps with the care, breeding, histological characterization, and genotyping of mouse models, including the surgical mouse OA model.
Kaneyuki Tsuchimochi, MD, PhD, has completed studies on the regulation of Col10a1 gene transcription by GADD45b and has returned to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kagoshima University, Japan.
Jinghong Chen, PhD, supported by the China Scholarship Council, performed work on toll-like receptor regulation of inflammatory pathways and transcription factors in chondrocytes. She has returned to her position as Assistant Professor at Xi'an Jiaotong University College of Medicine, Xi’an, China, where she is studying the pathogenic mechanisms of Kashin-Beck’s Disease.
Stefan Toegel, PhD, MPharmS, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics, University of Vienna, performed a study entitled “Molecular biological study of the regulation of sialyltransferases in human chondrocytes” with support from the Austrian Science Fund.