We will build on our established and proven strengths in identifying new treatments and accelerating their translation to the clinic, in inflammatory joint disease, degenerative joint disorders and in rare bone diseases.
We will also further develop Oxford’s promising tissue engineering implants and devices – to help the growth of injured tissue – and regenerative medicine treatments for the benefit of patients.
Tissue engineering is an innovative field of research, which combines engineering techniques and biology to create new materials that help with tissue healing and maintenance.
Our work is centred around four themes, underpinned by their impact on society:
1. Surgery, tissue engineering/regenerative medicine and osteoarthritis
We plan to extend the use of patient reported outcome measures in orthopaedic disorders, as well as expand our orthopaedic and plastic musculoskeletal surgery activity in the Clinical Trials Unit. We will optimise surgical skills and improve patient outcomes through the use of wearable sensors, and further advance the translation of the novel minimally invasive surgical techniques, like the Bioyarn and Biopatch.
2. Biologic therapies and inflammatory joint disease
We aim to identify common therapeutic targets and unique molecular mechanisms in inflammatory joint diseases, by developing experimental trials. We will also explore the re-purposing of drugs which block TNF – a protein called tumour necrosis factor which is over-produced in inflammatory conditions – for fibrotic disease and run a new Accelerated Arthritis Therapy Programme focusing on driving translation of new treatments to the clinic.
3. Rehabilitation, statistics, back pain and osteoporosis
We aim to develop and refine exercise treatments for older people with musculoskeletal conditions and people with idiopathic scoliosis. We will also enhance the clinical management of older people with multiple chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as extend our studies on the effects of maternal vitamin D supplements in neonatal bone mass.
4. Trauma, sarcoma and rare bone diseases
Our aim is to compare surgery with rehabilitation only care, improve hip fracture management, run a trial in sarcoma and further develop the rare bones study RUDY.
The theme is led by the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), the largest European academic and clinical department in the field. NDORMS runs a world-renowned competitive programme of research and teaching, employing 500 staff and over 100 postgraduate students, supported by a grant portfolio worth over £100m.
The department includes three world-leading research institutes – the Botnar Research Centre, the Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology and the Kadoorie Centre. It also houses the internationally recognised Centre for Statistics in Medicine and the accredited Oxford Clinical Trials Research, as well as the Unit NIHR Thames Valley Clinical Research Network, and plays a lead role in the NIHR Translational Research Collaborations in inflammatory joint and rare bone diseases.
Researching Rare Diseases of the Skeleton: The RUDY Study, presented by Dr M Kassim Javaid. A disease is defined as rare if it affects less than 1 in 2000 people, but the total number of people in Europe suffering from rare diseases is thought to be over 30 million. Rare Disease Day is designed to bring rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives to the attention of the general public and decision makers.