Tim, Shouan, and Ravi attended the ORS meeting in Phoenix this year. Ravi won a travel award from the OMRF Postdoctoral Training Committee to attend the meeting — we’re thankful for the support, and he took full advantage of the opportunity. Shouan presented his work on Sirtuin 5 and protein malonylation in cartilage, and Tim presented the lab’s work on sex differences and diet in OA pathophysiology. Tim also organized the “Bridging Disciplines for OA Solutions” Research Interest Group session, which focussed on OA pain this year. Tonia Vincent, Rachel Miller, Kyle Allen, and Lisa Carlesso gave talks and served as panelists for full house of ~130 people.
Thrilled to have Dr. Ravi Komaravolu join our lab. Ravi brings with him expertise in vascular biology and lipids, which will be a great asset to our newly funded VA project. Please check out our personnel page for his bio.
We are excited to announce a new grant from the Veterans Administration. This research will help us to determine how intra-articular adipose tissue lipolysis mediates macrophage activation and joint inflammation in post-traumatic osteoarthritis. We will test the hypothesis that exercise reduces osteoarthritis pain through metabolic mechanisms that alter immune cell activation to reduce joint inflammation. This research may lead to new metabolic-based drug therapies that provide safer alternatives to opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for reducing osteoarthritis pain.
Thanks to Farsh Guilak and Richard Loeser for organizing this terrific workshop sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation and the OREF. Tim gave a lecture on Metabolism, Obesity, and OA, and Shouan attended the workshop, which was held in Chicago. It was a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and for Shouan to network with leaders in the field, including Frank Beier!
In August and September we added two new members to the lab – Dr. Padmaja Mehta-D’souza and Ms. Taylor Block. They bring with them a wealth of expertise in Protein Biochemistry and Lab Animal Management, respectively. Please check out their bios on our personnel page. WELCOME!
We’re thrilled to welcome Kamil Kobak and Anita Jopkiewicz to the lab as our 2019-2020 Polish Student Trainees. Kamil is finishing his doctoral studies in the Laboratory for Applied Research on Cardiovascular System, Department of Heart Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University. Anita is working to complete her Masters degree from the University of Wrocław, Faculty of Biotechnology.
The lab was excited to participate in another successful Arthritis Walk to support the Arthritis Foundation. The Medical Honoree this year was our very own Dr. Matlock Jeffries! Two important guests were on hand to celebrate the occasion — Oklahoma City Thunder’s mascot Rumble the Bison and our U.S. Representative for Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district, Congresswoman Kendra Horn.
Tim attended the annual meeting in OARSI this year. He presented the lab’s poster on the role of Sirt3 in obesity-induced knee OA, and he also spoke in the ORS-OARSI Discussion Group on “Bridging Disciplines: A Pathway to Finding Solutions for Osteoarthritis.” This discussion group was lead by Dr. Tom Andriacchi (Stanford) and included short talks by Dr. Constance Chu (Stanford), Dr. Richard Loeser (UNC), Dr. Tim Griffin (OMRF), and Dr. Ewa Roos (Univ. Southern Denmark). The goal of this discussion group is to develop new multidisciplinary approaches to treat and prevent OA. Tim will be leading this group next year — he’s looking forward to continuing the momentum of this important work.
OMRF hosted the 2019 Oklahoma Geroscience Conference this year, with an outstanding slate of speakers from the field of “Inflammaging”. We were so proud and excited when Dawid was announced as one of the Best Poster student award winners. Congratulations!! He’s not letting this award gather any dust and will use it to attend the 2019 AGE meeting in San Francisco in June.
June 19th, 2018 will be a day to remember for Shouan. He started it off with the birth of his second child and finished it with news that his OCAST Postdoctoral Fellowship received funding. Double congratulations Shouan!!
It’s a great honor to be this year’s Medical Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation OKC Arthritis Walk. The Arthritis Foundation is the primary national organization to support arthritis patients and research. I’ve been very fortunate to received grants from the Arthritis Foundation over the years. I invite you to join our team by making a donation or walking with us on June 2nd. Help us in our goal to create a world free from joint pain so that everyone can live an active life without limitation.
More congratulations are in order for Albert and Shouan. They both earned $800 scholarly travel awards for their presentations at the Symposium: Physical Stresses- Keeping Us Alive and Well at the College of Allied Health on the OUHSC campus. Albert was recognized for his oral presentation entitled, “Dietary fat alters exercise effects on the knee: Network-based whole transcriptome analysis of mouse cartilage and subchondral bone” and Shouan for his poster presentation entitled, “Role of mitochondrial SIRT3 in chondrocyte metabolism and progenitor cell function for endogenous cartilage repair.”
We lost two lab members this summer but for great reasons.
Elise accepted a faculty position at the Oregon Institute of Technology where she will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences (Biology-Health Sciences Program). Elise started her new position in September.
Aaron left the lab in August to pursue his PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin.
Elise and Aaron made a great team, and they will be missed. Good luck to both of them!
We were excited to host Dr. Chaofan Zhang from the University of Hong Kong in our lab for a week in May. Chaofan visited us after attending the OARSI meeting in Las Vegas, where he was honored with a plenary presentation as one of the nine highest rated abstracts by a Young Investigator. Dr. Zhang wanted to share the following comments on his visit: “I was honored to have an opportunity to visit Dr. Griffin’s lab from May.1-5. During this week, I visited their lab facilities, attended several seminars, and had deep discussions with the whole team and other scientists from the Aging & Metabolism program. It was such a fruitful trip. Everyone there was helpful to me. I am really thankful to Dr. Griffin for providing this opportunity. His exhaustive knowledge, patience and kindness always motivated me.” Thank you for the kind comments!
The Humphries and Griffin Labs are excited to have Dr. Albert Batushansky join the Aging and Metabolism Program to lead our metabolomics research. Albert received his PhD in Life Science from The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at the Ben-Gurion University in Negev, Israel. This is where he developed his expertise in plant metabolomics and “-omics” data integration and network analysis. He joined us most recently from Dr. Angelovici’s lab at the University of Missouri so he can pursue his passion in biomedical metabolomics research at OMRF. Welcome Albert!
Elise Donovan and Erika Barboza Lopes each had their abstracts selected for podium presentations at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) this April in Las Vegas, NV. The title of Elise’s presentation is “HIGH FAT AND HIGH SUCROSE DIETS IN MICE HAVE INDEPENDENT EFFECTS ON OSTEOARTHRITIS PATHOLOGY AND CHONDROCYTE METABOLIC STRESS.” Erika’s title is “EXERCISE INDUCES TRANSIENT INFLAMMATORY AND PROFIBROTIC REMODELING OF THE INFRAPATELLAR FAT PAD.” Congratulations Elise & Erika!!
The Griffin Lab hosted Dr. Eric Verdin on February 16th as the OMRF Research Forum speaker. Dr. Verdin recently took over as President and CEO of The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and we were grateful that he fit us into his busy schedule. Dr. Verdin was a gracious guest. He shared many insights into sirtuins, acetylation, and aging, and he delivered an excellent seminar titled, “Metabolism, Epigenetics and Aging: A growing Nexus.”
Dr. Shouan Zhu joined the lab as a post-doctoral fellow in January of 2017. Shouan completed the first 3 years of his Ph.D. at the Center for Stem Cell & Tissue Engineering in Zhejiang University China under supervision of Dr. Hong Wei Ouyang. He earned a prestigious fellowship that allowed him to complete the 4th and 5th years of his Ph.D. research overseas. For this he joined the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, working on the mechanism of osteoarthritis pain under the supervision of Dr. Xu Cao. We’re excited to have Shouan join us, and we look forward to his exciting new discoveries!!
Our summer NARCH student, Hannah Taff, is back with us during her winter break from East Central University. Hannah is finishing analyzing knee samples from our collaborator, Ted Garland. She presented her initial findings this summer at UC Berkeley as a McNair Scholar. During the next two weeks she’ll finish analyzing changes in the cartilage and subchondral bone.
Two new co-authored review articles on metabolism and OA are now available online.
The first, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, focuses on how the metabolic syndrome and related conditions contribute to OA pathogenesis. The article spans evidence from clinical studies and animal models to mechanistic evidence involving intra-articular fat tissue and cellular nutrient sensors (e.g., AMPK and Sirtuins). Read it here: Metabolic Regulation of Inflammation in Osteoarthritis
The second article was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research. It is based on topics that were discussed at a workshop presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Societyin Orlando, FL. Dr. Ron June and I co-organized the workshop, and we were thrilled to have Drs. Ru Liu-Bryan and Fanxing Long participate. If you missed the meeting, or want a recap, take a look at this article! Emerging Role of Metabolic Signaling in Synovial Joint Remodeling and Osteoarthritis
OMRF and OUHSC hosted the 24th Annual NIA-sponsored Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research this past week. It was a busy week for attendees, including our very own Elise Donovan, who presented her independent research proposal on proteostasis in osteoarthritis. Our colleagues Ron June and Adam Konopka also attended.
After a terrific graduate career in the lab, Dr. Yao Fu will be joining the Gaffney Lab at OMRF in July to start a new post-doctoral research position. We will miss you Yao, and we wish you the best of luck in the Gaffney Lab!!