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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Southampton student receives award for bone disease research

Published: 29 September 2016
Juan Nunez

University of Southampton student Juan Nunez has been awarded the Ann Stansfield Student Research Bursary from the Paget’s Association, providing him with £6,000 to progress his research into Paget’s Disease of Bone.

In Paget’s Disease, the bone’s normal repair and renewal process is disrupted. This can lead to intense pain, severe deformity, fractures and in some cases, bone cancer.

Juan has a background in engineering, but has been working on his PhD project within Biological Sciences at the University, in skeletal biology. He is working under the mentorship and supervision of Dr Claire Clarkin who is a lecturer in developmental biology.

Dr Clarkin said: “This exciting project is in collaboration with Professor Stuart Ralston at the University of Edinburgh where we will look for the first time at how blood vessels are involved in the progression of Paget’s Disease. Juan has used his engineering expertise and developed new techniques to visualise blood vessels which are deeply buried within the bone mineral. The blood supply is abnormal in many diseases such as cancer and we now think that this is also the case with Paget’s Disease. Our long-term aim is to control blood vessel growth in the bone lesions to help to reduce pain and fracture risk."

Professor Roger Francis, Chairman of the Paget’s Association, presented Juan with the award on the 29 September at a Paget’s Information event in Norwich. Commenting on behalf of the Association, Professor Francis said: “The Trustees of the Charity thought it fitting that the bursary be named after the late Mrs Ann Stanfield who founded The Paget’s Association in 1973, having experienced considerable difficulty obtaining information and treatment for her husband’s condition. We would like to take this opportunity congratulate Juan on being awarded the bursary. We look forward to seeing his research progress.”

Anyone who is concerned about Paget’s disease can obtain information, advice and support by contacting The Paget’s Association’s Specialist Nurse, Diana Wilkinson, on 0161 799 4646.

 

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