Institute of Genetic Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Katarzyna Pirog

Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Genetics

Background

Institute of Genetic Medicine (IGM) - Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA)

Roles & responsibilities

Areas of expertise

  • Bone development
  • Cartilage biology
  • Skeletal dysplasia
  • Musculoskeletal ageing

Qualifications:

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD: Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research, Manchester University, UK
  • MSc (Hons): Institute of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland (5 year integrated BSc and MSc course)

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Research

Research interests:

Cartilage biomechanics and musculoskeletal complications of chondrodysplasias


During my PhD project and the subsequent PostDoc career I have developed and analysed several transgenic models of chondrodysplasias, specifically pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED). I have generated and analysed a mouse model of PSACH which recapitulates the patients’ phenotype, including the early onset osteoarthritis. I was also the first to show that the myopathy associated with COMP mutations in PSACH results from an underlying tendinopathy and I presented a novel study describing these complications in detail. I’m currently looking forward to expanding these studies in cellular and animal models to gain more understanding of pathobiology of chondrodysplasias and ageing.

I’m specifically interested in the abnormalities in the extracellular matrix ultrastructure associated with chondrodysplasias and ageing. I’d like to know how the cells sense and react to such changes and how this in turn impacts on the biomechanical properties of tissues. I’m also interested in musculoskeletal complications, such as myopathy and/or tendinopathy, trying to perceive the knee joint as a system of various interconnected tissues and through this approach gain a broader understanding of musculoskeletal conditions and their complications, such as osteoarthritis.


Teaching

Lecturer:

  • BGM2057 Medical genomics: from DNA to disease (Module Leader)
  • BGM3026 Genetics of development and its disorders
  • MMB8031 Developmental Genetics
  • GNM8000 Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics (Deputy Module Leader)
  • GNM8001 Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics (Deputy Module Leader)


 

Publications