Judith Hoyland, PhD was selected as this year’s PSRS Lifetime Research Achievement Award Recipient.

Professor Judith  Hoyland is currently Vice-Dean, Head of  School of Biological Sciences , at the University of Manchester and  was  chair of the Spine Section for  the American Orthopaedic Research Society (Chair-elect Feb 2015 – Feb 2017, Chair – March 2017 (1 year term), Past-Chair March 2018-March 2019.

Judith started her research career in the spine field   in Manchester in 1985, was awarded her PhD in 1988 for research into disc degeneration and nerve root compression.  Since then, Judith has published over 190 papers/reviews (current H index 62) in the area of musculoskeletal tissue cell and molecular biology/pathology and has internationally renowned expertise in the cell biology of musculoskeletal tissues, particularly intervertebral disc (IVD) biology/homeostasis and its degeneration and more recently tissue engineering and cell-based regeneration of the IVD.  A substantial component of her research is centred on understanding the pathogenesis and cell and molecular pathology of intervertebral disc degeneration and developing novel strategies utilizing progenitor cells, biologics and novel materials for the repair of the degenerate disc (a major cause of low back pain). Her group has been one of the key internationally renowned groups in defining the molecular pathology of human disc degeneration, including pertinent studies detailing nerve ingrowth into the painful degenerate intervertebral disc and the role of the cytokine IL-1 in driving the characteristic pathological/molecular processes observed in disc degeneration, and more recently the role of tissue specific circadian clocks in the pathogenesis of disc degeneration and LBP. Following the first identification of the human IVD cell phenotype by her group utilizing microarray analyses she has developed several methods to direct differentiation of cells (including adult stem cells) into phenotypically distinct IVD cells for use in tissue regeneration. More recently, such methodology has been applied to human notochordal cells to understand their phenotype and role in the developing and adult IVD.

About the PSRS Lifetime Research Award

The PSRS Lifetime Research Achievement Award was created in 2013 by the Philadelphia Spine Research Society (PSRS) to honor an investigator who has established him/herself with sustained and long-lasting contributions in the area of spine research. The award is given biennially when at the ORS PSRS International Research Symposium.

The first recipient of this award was Professor Irving Shapiro, the Anthony and Gertrude DePalma Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of Orthopaedic Research at Thomas Jefferson University. The award continues today with a generous support of the Shapiro Family Trust.

Past Award Recipients:

2019    Michele Crites Battié, PhD
2017    Jill Urban, PhD
2015    Peter Roughley, PhD
2013    Irving Shapiro, PhD