What are the causes of osteoarthritis, how can we model these in animals and test in humans?

Frank Beier, PhD, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Musculoskeletal Research, is investigating the mechanisms that cause and drive osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a common, debilitating and expensive disease that affects millions of Canadians. And currently, there are no treatments to slow, stop or reverse it.

Frank Beier, PhD, is studying the mechanisms that cause and drive osteoarthritis with the goal of improving prevention and treatment. His lab is looking at different types of osteoarthritis – after injury, during aging and after overload occurs in joints – and the different pathways that may be involved. Using animal models, the team has identified a gene called pannexin 3 that is involved in the response of joints to loading and could be a therapeutic target to slow or stop osteoarthritis.

Beier is a Professor and Chair of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Daring to Ask is a series that profiles Canada Research Chairs and Endowed Research Chairs at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. These researchers are advancing knowledge in their respective fields, asking and answering questions that challenge the status quo and seeking to improve patient care. It is essential research made possible by generous donors and the investment of funding agencies.