Prof. Ian Clark (Theme 2 Lead)
Professor of Musculoskeletal Biology
Cartilage biology and osteoarthritis
Ian Clark is a molecular cell biologist with a research focus on cartilage biology and osteoarthritis. A Biochemistry graduate, he undertook a PhD in the Rheumatology Research Unit in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge developing assays to measure arthritis-relevant proteolytic enzymes. He won a Arthritis Research Campaign Copeman Fellowship to the USA where he began a project which led to the discovery of a cancer-associated SNP in the MMP1 gene. He returned to the Cambridge, UK on an Arthritis Research Campaign Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop his own interests in cartilage biology. In 2001, he spent a year on study leave working within the OA disease area in AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals gaining an insight into drug development.
Since moving to UEA in 1996, he has published a number of key papers: (i) examining chondrocyte senescence in osteoarthritis; (ii) profiling the expression of firstly extracellular matrix-degrading proteinases, and latterly, all cellular proteases in normal vs. osteoarthritic human cartilage; (iii) defining the function of recently discovered metalloproteases in cartilage chondrocytes; (iv) demonstrating that histone deacetylase inhibitors are chondroprotective via their effects on metalloproteinase gene expression.
His current interests centre around (i) the impact of bioactive molecules derived from the diet on cartilage metabolism and osteoarthritis (ii) the role of microRNAs in chondrogenesis and osteoarthritis (iii) the role of proteases in Dupuytren’s disease.