Adam Pickard

  • Adam PickardExperienced Researcher, University of Manchester, UK
  • WP1: The role of genetic factors, the circadian clock and signalling pathways in tendinopathies
  • Secondment to MCRI, June-August 2019

Adam is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Manchester investigating the role of the circadian rhythm in the secretion of collagens, a principle component of cell-matrix rich tissues. His research focuses on utilising CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce sequences encoding fluorescent tags into the collagen genes. We have already established that type I collagen production and assembly is co-ordinated by circadian rhythm and we hope to explore whether there is similar control in cells which produce type II collagen.

In RUBICON Adam visited the laboratory of Dr Shireen Lamande at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, for 6 weeks. There he learned how to grow and differentiate induced pluoripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into cartilage. Using CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce the fluorescent protein, Dendra2 into the collagen II gene (COL2A1) of iPSCs the deposition will be monitored. Adam learned a new method to introduce the tag into cultured cells that will be utilised in future experiments in Manchester and will allow for the first time to see how cells deposit collagen II into the matrix. This will advance our understanding of how collagens are assembled and also how circadian rhythm can influence this process with implications to improve our understanding of joint health and diseases like osteoarthritis.