Anthony John Freemont

University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Anthony John Freemont was born in Plymouth, UK, in 1953 and trained in medicine at St. Thomas' Hospital, London, from which he graduated with the M.B. and B.S. degrees. He has an M.D. degree and is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK (FRCP) and Edinburgh (FRCPE) and the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath). Professor Freemont has held the post of Professor of osteoarticular pathology at the University of Manchester since 1993 and has been a consultant osteoarticular pathologist at the Central Manchester Foundation Trust since 1986. He is a Member of the MRC College of Experts and the Association of Physicians. His research group has pioneered the development of those molecular pathology techniques required to understand disease mechanisms at the cellular level in human hard tissues (e.g., bone and cartilage). Examples include being the first to use in situ RT PCR to detect low copy number transcripts in bone and in situ zymography to identify active matrix degrading enzymes in osteoarthritic cartilage. Currently, his primary research focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms underlying discogenic low back pain and designing novel therapies using regenerative medicine techniques (e.g., tissue engineering, stem cell manipulation, and gene therapy). Key discoveries include showing that imbalances in the IL-1 superfamily drive the intervertebral disc (IVD) pathology underlying back pain, IL-1Ra delivered by gene therapy reverses the cellular dysfunction causing this pathology, and autologous mesenchymal stem cells can be differentiated into IVD cells. In his role as a Professor/Consultant in osteoarticular pathology, he has been responsible for changing clinical practice through research in two particular areas: defining the impact of adynamic bone disease in renal failure patients and reclassifying renal osteodystrophy to facilitate clinical decision-making and defining the scope of synovial fluid microscopy in early management of arthritis.

Biography Updated on 5 December 2010

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