Osteoarthritis is the leading indication for joint replacement surgery; 905,000 knee and hip replacements were performed in 2009. The total cost estimate attributable to arthritis and related conditions was close to $128 billion. By 2030, an estimated 20 percent of Americans — about 70 million people — will have passed their 65th birthday and will be at increased risk for osteoarthritis. Currently, there are is no cure for osteoarthritis.
The osteoarthritis project was inspired by Dr. Gregg Fields and run by an interdisciplinary team of scientists between Scripps Florida, University of Texas Health Science Center, and Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Fields’ laboratory has been studying enzymes that degrade collagen and cartilage for over 20 years. Dr. Ania Knapinska has overseen the osteoarthritis project in Dr. Fields’ laboratory over the last 5 years. The Fields laboratory discovered a molecule that inhibits a crucial enzyme that causes cartilage destruction in osteoarthritis. Over several years and through our multidisciplinary collaborations we have been able to make the molecule very potent, and determined that it reaches the knee joints and does not cause adverse side effects.
Too many scientific discoveries stay in the lab and never see daylight!
While the laboratory has made great progress, we need to raise additional funds to demonstrate that our inhibitor can stop development of osteoarthritic lesions in the knee joint. This treatment will provide a key piece of data so that we have a strong chance of bringing osteoarthritis treatment to clinical trials.
Thank you for your generosity!
100% of the raised funds will go to the execution of this osteoarthritis treatment. All donations are fully tax deductible.
Gregg B. Fields, Ph.D., is a Full Professor and Chair in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Florida Atlantic University, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Scripps Florida. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Florida and Florida State University, respectively, and was a Postdoctoral Scholar with Professor Ken A. Dill at the University of California at San Francisco. The Fields laboratory has provided the first molecular description of collagen destruction by MMPs, and developed the first generation of collagen-mimic inhibitors that have provided high affinity and unique selectivities not observed previously in the MMP field. Dr. Fields has over 250 publications and his honors and awards include a University of Minnesota McKnight-Land Grant Professorship, a National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award, an Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities Excellence Award in Peptide Synthesis Research, a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Imperial College London, a Texas Higher Education Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention Award, a Robert A. Welch Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry, and election as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Ania M. Knapinska, Ph.D., is a Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Florida Atlantic University. She received her B.S. degree in Biotechnology from Florida Atlantic University and her Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Rutgers University/University of Dentistry and Medicine of New Jersey, where she was a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the High Throughput Screening facility of Scripps Florida and in the last 5.5 years has managed Dr. Fields’ laboratory.