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Tim Hardingham, BSc, PhD, DSc


Personal profile


Tim Hardingham is Emeritus Professor in the University. He was previously Professor of Biochemistry in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research (  and was the founding Director of the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering, University of Manchester, UK.

Professor Hardingham was previously the Head of Biochemistry at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London. He is a former Chairman of the Arthritis Research Campaign (UK) Research Grants Committee and a past member of the Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board of the Medical Research Council (UK). He has also been Chairman of the British Society for Matrix Biology (BSMB) and member of Council of the British Society for Rheumatology and has several awards and honours, including the Colworth Medal of The Biochemical Society (1978), the Roussel International Award for Basic Research in Osteoarthritis (1989), the Carol Nachman International Prize for Research in Rheumatology (1991) and in 2010 the Fell-Muir Award of BSMB. Professor Hardingham has been a member of ad hoc NIH study sections on Tissue Engineering and Bioengineering Research Partnerships (1999-2003) and is a founding Trustee of the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences. He currently co-heads the Tissue Regeneration Section of the Faculty of 1000 Medicine.


Professor Hardingham’s research interests are in the biology and pathology of cartilage and musculoskeletal tissues and the degenerative processes in osteoarthritis and other joint diseases. He has long standing research interests in the physical properties and biological functions of extracellular matrices. Current research is focussed on developing systems biology approaches to stratify OA as a complex disease based on transcriptomic analysis of patients cartilage and in parallel work to develop strategies for the differentiation of embryonic stem cells (and iPS cell) into chondrocytes for clinical applications in tissue engineering of cartilage.

Research interests

The Biology and Pathology of Cartilage and its role in Osteoarthritis

Cartilaginous tissues are characterised by highly specialised extracellular matrices that comprise more than 95% of the tissue. The cartilage matrix contains a sparse population of cells, the chondrocytes, which are responsible for the  assembly and maintenance of the tissue matrix. We are investigating articular cartilage ageing and pathology in Osteoarthritis and analysing changes in gene expression that accompany the processes that lead to tissue degeneration. We are developing systems biology approach to analyse transcriptomic datasets from individual patients to stratify OA into subsets based on active disease pathways.

We also have an active programme for new strategies for cartilage repair based on stem cells. We developed a protocol to drive chondrcytes from human embryonic stem cells and from induced pluripotent stem cells and have shown these to form cartilage when implanted in focal defects in animal joints in vivo. The supply of thse cells is being developed to provide clinical grade cells for cartilage repair.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Areas of expertise

  • QP Physiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Carilage Biology, Stem cells, Systems biology


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