Dr Emma Blain
Telephone:+44 (0)29 20 875171
Fax:+44 (0)29 20 874594
Location:Division of Pathophysiology and Repair School of Biosciences The Sir Martin Evans Building Museum Avenue Cardiff CF10 3AX
My research interests encompass the cellular and molecular events that are involved in maintaining articular cartilage tissue homeostasis, and the mechanism/s that propagate degeneration of the tissue as observed in the pathology of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a multi-factorial disease and one of the major risk factors is abnormal mechanical load i.e. through sports injury, obesity. As an Academic Fellow within the Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre, and based in the School of Biosciences I manage the mechanical loading laboratory, where my research area is the identification of signalling pathways that mediate either anabolic or catabolic responses in connective tissues, in particular articular cartilage and intervertebral disc. My current research focuses on the role of the cytoskeleton, in particular the vimentin intermediate filaments in transducing mechanical signals in articular cartilage, and how these intracellular networks maintain the cartilage chondrocyte phenotype.
Collectively, the aims of my research and the projects that I am involved in are to (1) determine how important the cytoskeletal elements are in transducing mechanical signals that influence cartilage chondrocyte homeostasis and (2) understand the underlying mechanisms of cartilage destruction propagated by abnormal mechanical load.