Alex Scott receives CIHR Priority Announcement Award through the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis, New Investigator program

Alex Scott receives CIHR Priority Announcement Award through the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis, New Investigator program

Alex Scott and co-PI Kelly McNagny's research could lead to new treatments for injured workers and athletes suffering from chronic activity-related tendon pain.  

Tendons are a kind of connective tissue—tendons connect muscles and bones, allowing joints to move and absorb energy during activities such as sports or manual labour. Tendons often become injured and heal poorly, especially in manual labourers, computer workers, and athletes. Tendon injuries tend to become recurrent and chronic, and for example, can lead to extensive time off work.

Dr. Scott's research has found abnormally high levels of a type of connective tissue cell—the mast cell—in chronically painful human tendons, and also in acutely injured or repetitively strained rodent tendons. This cell type has a well-known role in the allergy response; however, mast cells are also involved in the formation of repair tissue, especially in conditions where there is a chronic or ongoing injury. Dr. Scott's work aims to understand the role of mast cells in acute and chronic tendon injuries, including the mechanisms by which mast cells interact with and influence the inflammatory and reparative activity of local tendon cells. This work could lead to new treatments for injured workers and athletes suffering from chronic activity-related tendon pain.