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Name: Deborah Mason

Institution: Cardiff University and Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre

Theme or Role: High level Evidence Theme Leader


Brief biography: I am a molecular and cell biologist in the field of musculoskeletal diseases. After my BSc in Zoology and Genetics and PhD in Evolutionary Genetics, I preformed an early RNA fingerprinting experiment to discover mechanically-regulated genes in osteocytes in vivo. This led to the discovery of glutamate as a mechanically regulated signal in bone, starting a long term research interest in mechanically-regulated signalling pathways. I am Co Principal Investigator and Preclinical Research Program Lead in the Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre at Cardiff, where my research programme uses a range of cell, explant, animal and human models to determine how altered joint biomechanics influences biological signals. I have secured over £17M of research funding for 34 projects encompassing biosciences, engineering and orthopaedics. My goals include testing new drugs in clinical trials for the prevention of post-traumatic osteoarthritis, devising biomarker assays for early osteoarthritis, and developing our in vitro models for drug screening and biomarker selection. My overall ambition is to improve understanding of the biological mechanisms that link mechanical loading, inflammation and joint destruction in arthritis, and exploit this knowledge for patient benefit.

Currently the project lead for the Research Feasibility Project to identify higher level evidence in OA to develop and impact toolkit for research quality scoring in OA.

Vision for the OATech+ Network: To facilitate high impact, interdisciplinary research to advance understanding of osteoarthritis disease mechanisms, and develop tools and processes that validate safe and effective treatments for osteoarthritis.