Keele professor awarded prestigious medal in recognition of her vital research

Esteemed biologist Professor Sally Roberts has been recognised for her contributions to research that is improving the lives of patients suffering musculoskeletal disease.

Professor Roberts, from Keele University’s School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, and based at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) as head of the Spinal Studies and Cartilage Repair Research Group, has been awarded the Presidential Medal by the British Orthopaedic Research Society at its annual conference, which was held virtually this week.

She was awarded the prestigious medal for her contributions to the research of the intervertebral disc and cell-based therapies to treat disc degeneration and repair cartilage.

Professor Roberts’ work with clinicians has contributed to delivering cell therapy for cartilage and bone repair to patients by monitoring the quality of repair tissue, developing standardised international assessment criteria, assisting in clinical trials of cell therapy, and working towards alternative sources of cells for cartilage repair.
Professor Roberts said: “It’s an absolute honour to be recognised in this way, it came as a real surprise to me and I can think of many colleagues who are much more deserving of this medal.
“It’s important that I say that RJAH is a brilliant place to be a scientific researcher because of how close we are to clinical teams and how much support we get from our colleagues, not just the surgeons and clinicians but those from across the hospital, including medical records, IT, diagnostics and many more.
“I see this medal for the whole research department and hospital, as well as colleagues at Keele University.”
Professor Richie Gill, who presented Professor Roberts with the medal, said: “Sally is more than deserving of the Presidential Medal. She is an outstanding role model for the multidisciplinary research that is essential in improving the lives of those suffering from musculoskeletal disease.”
Professor Deborah Mason added: “Sally has successfully collaborated with orthopaedic surgeons to ensure that her biological research is used for patient benefit.
“This is a great achievement in our field and one that the British Orthopaedic Research Societyrecognises and continuously strives to facilitate.”