Joint-resident mesenchymal stem cells

In recent years, skeletal stem cell populations have been identified in bone marrow and genetic lineage tracing models in mice have provided important insights in their roles in bone homeostasis, fracture repair, and haematopoiesis. More recently, the stem and progenitor cells that are resident in synovial joints are also beginning to be defined and their functions elucidated. Work in our lab has focused on stem and progenitor cells in the synovial membrane, and has identified progeny of the Gdf5-expressing cells of the embryonic joint interzones as key players in joint homeostasis, repair and pathophysiology.
Anke Roelofs completed her MSc in Medical Biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 2003 cum laude. She then moved to the Botnar Research Centre at the University of Oxford to study for a PhD under the guidance of Prof Graham Russell and Drs Claire Edwards and Philippa Hulley, focussing on the mechanisms of action of bisphosphonates and related compounds. After completing her PhD in 2007 and following a number of post-doctoral research posts, she was appointed Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in 2012, where she is part of the Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine laboratory within the Aberdeen Centre for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Health. Her current research focusses on the study of the endogenous mesenchymal stromal cell lineages and their niches in the joint in health, after joint injury, and in osteoarthritis.