Institution CIDETEC Position Junior Researcher
What are your specific tasks in the SINPAIN team at CIDETEC?
My tasks in the project are related to the development of non-viral vectors for siRNA delivery and range from the synthesis of biomaterials to efficacy tests using in vitro models.
What made you go into science?
When I was a child, I was always wondering why things happened and I was fascinated by understanding the processes of physiology and chemistry. Later, I discovered that these naturally occurring mechanisms could be harnessed to develop technology that could improve our way of life and reverse nature's failures.
What makes working in the SINPAIN project special for you?
It is a great opportunity to finetune the vectors specifically for the knee environment and explore their potential to reach different type of cells and their implementation in different therapies.
How do you see the field of RNA-based therapies for osteoarthritis evolving in the future?
I think that the field of RNA-based therapies holds significant promise for the treatment of genetic-based diseases such as osteoarthritis. If we are able to overcome the challenges, it could lead to a breakthrough in treating this condition. I believe that, as research in this field continues to evolve, we will continue to see exciting advancements and discoveries that will benefit patients and improve their quality of life.
What are your goals after SINPAIN? How does working in the team of an international research project contribute to reaching these goals?
Following my involvement with SINPAIN, I aim to further my work in RNA therapy development for various cell types and explore the potential application of vectors in other therapeutic areas. By collaborating with the interdisciplinary team in SINPAIN, comprising experts from every field involved in the disease, I can gain valuable insights and understanding of the biological implications of the biomaterials we synthesized. This experience will undoubtedly enhance my skills and knowledge, and contribute significantly towards my future goals.
Institution i3S Position Research Technician
What are your specific tasks in the SINPAIN team at i3S?
My tasks in the SINPAIN project involve the characterization of the human knee joint, through the collection and stratification of patients’ tissues. More specifically, we aim to further characterize the cell populations that drive the inflammation and pathological innervation of osteoarthritis (OA).
What are you currently working on within the scope of SINPAIN?
At the moment, we have been collecting human samples from hip and knee arthroplasties to stratify the patient tissues regarding gender, lesion grade, among others, and posterior cell characterization. This current task is possible due to a collaboration established between our team at i3S and the Orthopaedics Department of Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João, Porto, Portugal.
What makes working in the SINPAIN project special for you?
Working on SINPAIN gives me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge on the mechanisms behind OA progression, aiming to increase the life quality of people who suffer from the debilitating symptoms of this condition daily. Moreover, as it is an European project, it also widens my horizon to the importance of multidisciplinary collaborations in the scientific field.
In your opinion, what impact does SINPAIN have? What is special about the SINPAIN project?
OA is the most common chronic joint disorder and a substantial cause of disability in the elderly, affecting millions of people worldwide. So far, no effective therapies have been discovered for this condition, which implies that patients suffering from OA do not have a promising solution to attenuate or stop chronic pain and disease progression. The impact of the SINPAIN project relies on filling this gap in therapeutic options. By combining different scientific fields, this project allows for a deep study using human samples and testing diverse nanoformulations, taking an important and promising step towards a personalized medicine in the context of OA.
For more information about Beatriz, visit her LinkedIn profile.
Institution Reykjavik University Position Visiting PhD Student
What is your role in the SINPAIN team at Reykjavik University? My tasks in the SINPAIN team concern the analysis of medical images to extrapolate textural information from cartilage not visible to the naked eye, to allow an automatic characterization of the state of degeneration of cartilage tissue in patients suffering from osteoarthritis (OA).
What motivated you to choose your research subject? The choice of this research subject allows me to delve deeper into the topic of automatic analysis of medical images in a field of great scientific interest as OA is one of the main causes of disability for millions of people in the world. The hope is to contribute to providing useful tools to support clinicians' work to quickly recognize risk states and possible correlations with biological factors.
Is this your first experience working on an EU-funded project? What is your opinion about this programme? This is my first experience in an EU-funded project, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team and open my horizons. This programme can represent a scientific hub and a moment of debate between actors with different backgrounds and offers the possibility of enriching oneself and contributing to the understanding of mechanisms underlying OA that are still not known today.
In your opinion, what impact does SINPAIN have? What is special about the project? The SINPAIN project offers the opportunity to combine different scientific knowledge for one great objective: to improve the living conditions of patients suffering from OA through innovative therapies and advanced diagnostic options, overcoming the limits of current medicine in considering pathology. Those who have chosen to devote themselves to medical research have the desire to ensure that their work can help people who are struggling with difficult health situations every day. The SINPAIN project allows you to team up to pursue this goal and that’s what makes it so special.