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Richard Pearson

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

Dr Pearson has extensive experience of working within cross-disciplinary research groups involving biomedical scientists, surgeons, physiotherapists, engineers and pharmacists. This commenced with his PhD studies which were conducted whilst enrolled at the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials, Queen Mary (Profs Lee and Bader), under an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, CASE award with Smith & Nephew GRC York. His doctoral research was conducted at the laboratories of the Institute of Orthopaedics, UCL, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore. Dr Pearson moved to a post doctoral research post at the University of Nottingham where he joined Professor Kevin Shakesheff's group. He focused on two consecutive BBSRC funded research funded projects the first studying peripheral nerve regeneration and the second a potential treatment for the treatment of spinal cord lesions. He then moved to where he holds a Senior Research Fellow post in the clinical Division of Orthopaedic & Accident Surgery where he conducts the majority of his research with the Head of Division, Prof Scammell.

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Teaching Summary

His teaching and lecturing at the University is to postgraduate students within the Taught course - Translation PhD framework (nTRANS) lecture on "Ethics - Human Tissue and Research Governance". He… read more

Research Summary

Dr Pearson focusses upon the quantified changes in bone associated with several disease pathologies. These include prevalent musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fracture… read more

Selected Publications

His teaching and lecturing at the University is to postgraduate students within the Taught course - Translation PhD framework (nTRANS) lecture on "Ethics - Human Tissue and Research Governance". He also lectures postgraduate students within the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Regenerative Medicine on "Bone Grafts and Bone Substitutes" and students studying towards their MSc in Stem Cell Technologies on a number of topics including "Metals and Ceramics in Surgical Implants". Administrative duties include being the Person Designate for the Division of Orthopaedic & Accident Surgery under the Human Tissue Authority license.

Current Research

Dr Pearson focusses upon the quantified changes in bone associated with several disease pathologies. These include prevalent musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fracture and rarer diseases such as Charcot foot. This analysis often involves bone histopathology and imaging techniques including micro computed tomography (µCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Data from this analytical research feeds back into preclinical and clinical studies to aid in the development of new therapeutic strategies to treat disease.

His research interest in osteoarthritis often focusses on the pain associated with the disease and has resulted in a series of basic science publications in collaboration with colleagues in the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre. This has involved detailed characterisation of the pathology of the osteoarthritic knee joint, a disease which affects approximately 5 million people in the UK.

Osteoporosis decreases bone strength and therefore increases the risk of fracture during a fall. Well over 50,000 patients a year in the UK have an operation to treat an osteoporotic fracture. We are investigating the potential for a novel formulation of a drug based on parathyroid hormone to treat osteoporosis. This utilises the latest imaging technology platform at the University of Nottingham within a clinical study. This research is being conducted by a consortium involving University of Nottingham Medical Physics and Critical Pharmaceuticals which is funded by the Technology Strategy Board - EPSRC.

Fracture fixation plates required by orthopaedic surgeons are currently made from metal. There are certain limitations from using metal and therefore we are interested in developing resorbing non-metallic plates. This is part of a programme with the Faculty of Engineering and industrial collaborators funded by the NIHR-HTD.

A recent research focus has examined the specific bone pathology of the Charcot foot, associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a disease that can lead to amputation of the foot. This work is in collaboration with at the Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Diabetic Foot Unit.

Past Research

Peripheral nerve repair. Tissue engineered devices designed to promote peripheral nerve regeneration. Biomaterials and nerve conduits.

CNS regeneration using olfactory ensheathing cells.

Cochlear research.

Biomaterials and ligament or tendon reconstruction.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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