Andy graduated in Medicine from the University of Sheffield in 1998. He did his house jobs in the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust during which time he obtained his Membership of the Royal College of Physicians. In 2002, he entered Specialist Registrar Training in Haematology at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. Andy joined the Academic Unit of Bone Biology in 2005 to study for a PhD in ‘Mechanisms of Myeloma Bone Disease’.
Andy’s research has focused on the use of bone anabolic agents in myeloma bone disease. The standard treatment of myeloma bone disease has been anti-resorptive drugs, typically bisphosphonates, which inhibit the increased osteoclastic bone resorption seen in myeloma. This strategy however, has had limited success.
Osteoblastic bone formation is also inhibited in myeloma; however osteoblast activity has been relatively neglected as a potential area for therapeutic targeting. The osteoblast inhibitor, Dkk1, a known inhibitor of Wnt signalling and osteoblast differentiation is secreted by myeloma cells in the 5T2MM murine model of myeloma. Using an anti Dkk1 antibody, Andy has demonstrated substantial protection against osteolytic bone disease in this model. The group has also targeted Wnt signalling using a novel glycogen synthetase 3 inhibitor in the 5T2MM model which also shows substantial protective effects. Other osteoblastogenic pathways have been studied including the activin-A pathway, a TGF-β superfamily member implicated in the regulation of bone phenotype. Using a soluble decoy receptor to activin-A, substantial osteoblastogenic effects protective against osteolytic bone disease have been observed in the 5T2MM murine model of myeloma.
Andy’s research is funded by the Leukaemia Research Fund and in 2005 his Fellowship was voted Leukaemia Research Fund, Clinical Research Fellowship of the Year. Andy has been awarded New Investigator Awards by the Bone Research Society for the last three years consecutively.