Dr Helen McCarthy
My research interests focus on the development of translational technologies based on articular cartilage progenitor cell biology primarily in the equine field. This work has resulted in the first large animal studies utilising both equine (Colorado, USA) and caprine (Davos, Switzerland) models. My interests also lie in the biology of both the articular cartilage progenitor cell and a meniscus-specific stem/progenitor cell in human tissue and their potential role in tissue repair and osteoarthritis.
Prior to joining the Cardiff School of Biosciences, I gained my PhD from the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Liverpool University. I undertook a case-control study to investigate the role of Clostridium botulinum in equine dysautonomia. A key feature of this largely fatal disease is a marked reduction of gastrointestinal motility due to widespread degeneration within the autonomic nervous system. Results gained during my PhD have led to the first UK wide vaccination trial. My undergraduate degree in Zoology was from Swansea University and this was followed by a masters degree at Aberystwyth University The dissertation element of this masters course received The Veterinary Journal Junior Scientist Award in 2001.
I am currently a lecturer in Biomedical Science and Anatomy in the School of Biosciences and was appointed in September 2014. I deliver on a variety of subject areas including endocrinology, reproductive physiology, anatomy, connective tissue biology and tissue engineering. I am currently module leader for the preliminary year module The Way the Body Works as well as the first year module Structure and Function of Living Organisms. In addition to teaching on 8 modules within the School of Biosciences, I also have teaching commitments in the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine. I also contribute to teaching on the CITER MSc course and supervise postgraduate students. I have recently completed module 3 of the Post-graduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (PCUTL) and I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
I joined the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University in 2005 as a post-doctoral research associate in the lab of Prof. Charlie Archer. My research focused on the development of translational technologies based on articular cartilage progenitor cell biology. This work resulted in the first large animal studies utilising both equine (Colorado, USA) and caprine (Davos, Switzerland) models. My research also investigated the biology of both the articular cartilage progenitor cell and a meniscus-specific progenitor cell in human tissue and their potential role in tissue repair and osteoarthritis. My most recent post-doctoral appointment ended in 2014; this was a £250,000 BBSRC funded project in which I was research co-investigator. I have an on-going research collaboration with Oregon Health and Science University in the USA which has resulted in the submission of two publications in 2016. More recently, my research expertise has led me to be appointed as a collaborator on a tissue engineering NC3R’s grant received by Dr Deborah Mason. I have also served on the School Research and Ethics Committee (SREC) since 2013.