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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Howard Tribe PhD year 1, 2019

IfLS Postgraduate Student

Howard Tribe's Photo

Application of STRO-4 immunoreactive skeletal stem cells for cartilage regeneration

Current treatments for damaged articular cartilage don’t work very well and I am passionate about finding a better treatment by regenerating articular cartilage.

I graduated from Imperial College London with a medical degree and a BSc in pharmacology and toxicology. I particularly enjoyed the time I spent in the laboratory during my BSc and always wanted to return. Since university I have been working as a doctor and I am now a trainee orthopaedic surgeon. During my training, I have developed an interest in articular cartilage and I understand the clinical consequences and the difficulties clinicians face in treating damaged articular cartilage.

This PhD provides me with a fantastic opportunity to return to the laboratory where I can try and develop a novel treatment for damaged cartilage. My project will involve isolating a population of skeletal stem cells from bone marrow, turning these skeletal stem cells in to chondrocytes and then examine the quality of cartilage these chondrocytes can produce. The eventual goal is to produce cartilage that is as good as native cartilage and which can be implanted in to patients in order to regenerate areas of damaged articular cartilage.

What are the benefits of interdisciplinary research from your perspective?

When one learns and develops knowledge and skills, it is easy to become super-specialised in a very small area of science. Research between different disciplines allows us to take off the blinkers from our eyes and see a much wider area of expertise that benefits us as well as the other teams we work with.

Location: IDS Building, Southampton General Hospital.

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