Annual Mellanby Centre Meeting Held at University’s The Edge

The Mellanby Centre for Bone Research was set up within the University of Sheffield 9 years ago and we held the annual research day at The Edge in December 2017.

Richard Eastell is the Director of the Centre and he opened the meeting by explaining the strategic importance of the Centre. The Centre has been the basis of grant success, and was successful in receiving further funding for the Centre for the Integration of Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA) and the Experimental Cancer Treatment Centre. The opening speaker was Professor Gabi van der Pluijm (University of Leiden, Netherlands) who talked about the treatment of prostate cancer using nonodrug and virus approaches to drug delivery. Dr Munitta Muthana (Oncology and Metabolism, TUOS) spoke about using ‘Bugs as Drugs’. She had recently been awarded a CRUK Multidisciplinary grant and was using macrophages to deliver viruses to tumours, a Trojan horse approach. Professor Phillipe Clezardin (Oncology and Metabolism, TUOS) explained the role of micro RNAs in cancer and how these can be targeted to reduce skeletal tumour burden. Professor Nick Harvey (University of Southampton) impressed us by the efficient way in which the UK Biobank recruited 503,000 people over five years in a cohort study and explained how their data was linked to national data on health and how we might access this resource. Professor John Loughlin (CIMA, Newcastle) spoke about epigenetics and osteoarthritis and explained the possible interactions between genetics and epigenetics.

We held snap poster presentations for the third time as these are a popular format. They were one-minute presentations on why someone should attend the poster and this year we applied the approach to all our posters. We awarded a prize to Chris Lee for the best snap presentation. The best poster presentation was won by Thomas Franchi. The best oral presentation was won by Jess Warrington; she was using CRISPR Cas9 techniques to evaluate the role of RAMPs in prostate cancer.


Two of the award winners at this year’s Mellanby Centre meeting were medical students who conducted a 6-week research placement in the Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism, Chris Lee and Thomas Franchi.


Richard Eastell wrote this piece. He is the Professor of Bone Metabolism, in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism.