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Dr Sophie Gilbert

Dr Sophie Gilbert

Research Associate

School of Biosciences

Email
gilbertsj1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4287
Campuses
Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

Overview

I am a post-doctoral researcher with over 25 years of experience in musculoskeletal biology in normal and disease states. My research focusses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in its regulation under mechanical load and during inflammation. I have been pivotal in establishing a range of in vitro and in vivo cell and tissue models of inflammation and joint loading to investigate these processes. I also have an interest in cartilage repair with particular emphasis on investigating why repair tissue poorly integrates with the surrounding host cartilage. I am a member of the UK Centre of Excellence in Biomechanics and Bioengineering whose aim is to drive interdisciplinary studies across a team of internationally recognised researchers and clinicians to improve patient care.

 

Biography

I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle and then completed a PhD in 1997 at the University of Bristol investigating the role of collagen in the pathogenesis of dilated cardiomyopathy. I moved to the Connective Tissue Research Biology Labs in the School of Biosciences, Cardiff in 1997.

Professional memberships

Speaking engagements

  • CITER ASM (2014):  Intra-articular injection of a PKR inhibitor reduces knee swelling and lameness following acute knee injury in the mouse.
  • BRS/BSMB, London (2009): Knockout of P58IPK, a known inhibitor of PKR, in mice results in a degenerative phenotype in the knee joint.
  • CITER workskop (2009): The use of Pulsed Low Intensity Ultrasound (PLIUS) in cartilage repair.
  • OARSI World Congress on OA, Rome (2008): Successful integrative cartilage repair in vitro can be achieved by inhibiting chondrocyte death at the wound edge.
  • BSMB, Keele University (2007): Inhibition of chondrocyte death at the wound edge enhances integrative cartilage repair.
  • BSMB, Liverpool University (2005): Ceramide increases matrix synthesis in articular chondrocytes, but at what cost?
  • Biochemical Society Meeting 677, Cardiff University (2002): PACT, the protein activator of PKR is up-regulated at the onset of osteoarthritis and by TNF-α treatment of chondrocytes.
  • Veterinary Cardiovascular Society Meeting (1997): The possible role of the extracellular matrix in canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • 5th Annual Congress European Society of Veterinary Internal Medicine (1995): The collagen matrix of dilated cardiomyopathy.

Committees and reviewing

Publications

2021

2020

2018

2016

2014

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2006

2005

2003

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2001

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1997

Teaching

Undergraduate

• I contribute to teaching on mechanical load and musculoskeletal biology (BI3321: Functional anatomy of the Musculoskeletal System)
• I help deliver lab-based practicals (BI2332: Concepts of Disease) and workshops (BI3351 Contemporary Topics in Disease) and devise, supervise, and assess final year BSc laboratory projects (BI3001)

Postgraduate level:

• I contribute to the Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER) MSc course (DET002 and BIT001). 
• I devise, supervise, and assess MSc Tissue engineering, IAESTE, and Integrated master’s (BI4001) laboratory projects

 

My research interests encompass three areas of cartilage and bone biology, the roles of inflammatory cytokine signalling and mechanical load in joint degeneration and cartilage repair strategies.

Current Wellcome Trust: I am using RNAseq to investigate the ‘mechanosome’ in human stem cell-derived osteocytes. In addition, I collaborate with Dr Blain (BIOSI) to investigate load-induced epigenetic regulation in cartilage homeostasis

Jan 2017 - Jul 2018 NC3Rs: The aim of this project was to differentiate human stem cells to bone and cartilage cells to investigate them under mechanical load in 3D models for drug screening. This industrial partnership with Kirkstall and Biogelx was funded by the CRACK IT challenge, a NC3Rs project funding collaboration between industry, academics, and SMEs to reduce the need for animals in research. 

Jan 2010 – Dec 2018 Versus Arthritis/Cardiff University Seedcorn: I investigated the role of the signalling molecule, Protein Kinase R (PKR), a master regulator of fundamental cell processes, in the disease mechanisms of bone and cartilage. This work revealed a key role for PKR in cartilage responses to inflammation and load, and more recently in osteoblast differentiation and cytokine-induced bone remodelling. My studies have provided important insights into the molecular mechanisms that may drive joint degeneration. We were given the 2018 award for "Excellence in Basic, Clinical, and Translational Science” bestowed by the Journal of Orthopaedic Research for the publication Gilbert SJ, Bonnet CS, Stadnik PS, Duance VC, Mason DJ, Blain EJ (2018). Inflammatory and degenerative phases resulting from anterior cruciate rupture in a non-invasive murine model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 36 (8), pp. 2118-2127.

2007 – 2010 DTI/Smith & Nephew: This research discovered barriers to cartilage-cartilage integration and developed hypotheses for enhanced integration of cartilage. The project required full technical progress reports as well as oral dissemination of results to industrial partners via face to face and skype meetings.

1997 – 2007 Henry Smith Charity/Arthritis Research Campaign: Identification and characterisation of the PKR signalling pathway in joint degeneration.

.Awards

• 1st poster prize winner; Tissue & Cell Engineering Society Annual Conference 2008
• 2018 award for "Excellence in Basic, Clinical, and Translational Science” bestowed by the Journal of Orthopaedic Research for the publication Gilbert SJ, Bonnet CS, Stadnik PS, Duance VC, Mason DJ, Blain EJ (2018). Inflammatory and degenerative phases resulting from anterior cruciate rupture in a non-invasive murine model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 36 (8), pp. 2118-2127

Awarded grants

S.J. Gilbert (£1327.34) University Seed corn Fund, May 2018

Deborah Mason (PI), Paul Genever (York), Bronwen Evans, Emma Blain, Sophie Gilbert, Cleo Bonnet, Daniel Aeschlimann, Sam Evans, Cathy Holt and Industrial partners (Kelly Davidge, Kirkstall; Laura Goldie, Biogelx) (£99,820) NC3Rs Crack-IT Challenge, OsteoChip, Jan-Jun 2017

Dr EJ Blain, Dr SJ Gilbert, Dr AJ Hayes (£90,000) I Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre PhD studentship 2017-2021

S.J. Gilbert (£2500) Company of Biologists Scientific Meeting grant 2016 

S.J. Gilbert (£500) Biochemical Society Small Meetings Grant 2016 

S.J Gilbert (£530) CITER travel bursary 2016 

SJ Gilbert (£2000) Company of Biologists Scientific Meeting grant 2015 

SJ Gilbert (£1440) CITER undergraduate student summer placement 2015 

SJ Gilbert (£1440) CUROP summer placement 2015 

Dr DJ Mason, Dr SJ Gilbert & Prof VC Duance (£81227) Arthritis Research Campaign 2004 –2006 

Dr DJ Mason, Dr SJ Gilbert & Prof VC Duance (£92149) Arthritis Research Campaign 2002 –2004

Dr DJ Mason, Dr SJ Gilbert & Prof VC Duance (£46266) Henry Smith's Charity 2000 - 2001

Collaborators

External

  • Prof Ladiges and Dr John Morton (Dept Comparative Medicine, University of Washington) – P58IPK knockout studies
  • Prof J Tobias and Prof C Gregson (Bristol University)
  • Dr Chrissy Hammond (Bristol University)
  • Prof. F. Guilak (University of Washington)

Internal

Supervision

Engagement

Outreach/public engagement

 @ Science In Health Live, Cardiff

Biology Rocks at the National Museum, Cardiff

External profiles

Research links