Flexible, innovative solutions for analysis of the skeleton

skelet.AL Staff



Prof. Ilaria Bellantuono

Prof. Ilaria Bellantuono
Professor of Musculoskeletal Ageing
Head of facility


Prof. Ilaria Bellantuono


Ilaria trained as a stem cell biologist at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester and subsequently at Imperial College. She joined the Mellanby Centre for Bone Research in 2005 where she has established her research programme on the ageing skeleton. In particular, her group is interested in understanding how stem cells age, the impact this has on bone remodelling with age and ways to delay or prevent it through chemical intervention. She is the deputy Sheffield lead for the MRC –Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA) and leads the Shared Ageing Research Model facility funded by Wellcome Trust.



Prof. Tim Skerry, Professor of Orthopaedic Biology Head of Department

Prof. Tim Skerry
Professor of Orthopaedic Biology
Head of Department


Prof. Tim Skerry


Tim has worked in bone biology research for over 25 years and his primary research interest is in molecular responses in bone to mechanical loading and identification of therapeutic targets for anabolic therapies. This work has moved towards use of tissue-specific and targeted transgenic models to clarify osteocyte and osteoblast biology. He is an expert in the assessment of bone biology and responses using traditional and non-invasive imaging modalities (pioneering the use of quantitative peripheral CT in the UK in the 1990s).



Dr David Hughes

Dr David Hughes
Consultant Histopathologist
Cancer Lead Clinician


Dr David Hughes


David’s initial research was the investigation of the role of cytokines in bone metabolism, and through his PhD (The University of Sheffield, 1988) he developed an interest in understanding the mechanism of action of bisphosphonates. He continued to work with Professsor Mike Rogers defining the role of the mevalonate pathway in the bisphopshonate action.



Dr Enrico Dall'Ara

Dr Enrico Dall'Ara
Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Multiscale Imaging


Dr Enrico Dall'Ara


Dr Enrico Dall'Ara was appointed as Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Multiscale Imaging in 2015 at the Department of Human Metabolism, after joining the University of Sheffield in 2013 as Marie Curie fellow. Enrico's research interests are related to better understanding bone mechanics and remodelling with multiscale imaging, experimental and computational methods. In particular the main goal of his research is to develop and validate computational models for the prediction of bone strength and risk of fracture in health and disease, applied to both preclinical and clinical studies.



Dr Maya Boudiffa

Dr Maya Boudiffa
Post Doctoral Research Associate


Dr Maya Boudiffa


Dr. Boudiffa joined skelet.AL and the University of Sheffield in 2013. Bone biologist by training, she has expertise in imaging of bone (microCT scanning), histomorphometry, immunohistochemistry, and bone cell culture. She is a member of the MRC AR-UK Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing and supports investigators performing bone analysis within CIMA.



Orla Gallagher Senior Research Technologist

Orla Gallagher
Senior Research Technologist


Orla Gallagher


Orla began her career as a Biomedical Scientist in the diagnostic Histopathology Laboratory of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. She moved to the University of Sheffield in 1995 where she managed the Histology Research Laboratory in the Department of Pathology of the Medical School. In December 2003 Orla joined the newly-established Bone Analysis Laboratory as the senior research technician and has continued to manage the technical growth and development of the lab. Orla’s main expertise is in the preparation of bone and soft tissues for histological, immunohistochemical and histomorphometric analysis.



Kirsty Nicholson <br />
Research Technologist

Kirsty Nicholson
Research Technologist


Kirsty Nicholson


Since initially joining the lab as an undergraduate placement student in 2012, and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2014, Kirsty has developed her expertise in Bone Imaging and currently manages the micro-CT available in the facility. She acquired a wide range of experience in scanning and analysing samples from murine bones to a range of biomedical and industrial materials. She is also proficient in histomorphometry and a range of microscopic imaging techniques such as fluorescent and confocal microscopy.



Mark Kinch, <br />
Research Technologist

Mark Kinch
Research Technologist


Mark Kinch


Mark studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and obtained a BTEC HNC in Medical Laboratory Sciences with Histology and Cytology. He worked for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals at Alderley Edge in Cheshire from 1984 - 2013 in the Pathology department as an Associate Principle Scientist / Team Leader. He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of Histology and Necropsy procedures on both GLP and non-GLP studies, and he also has experience of building strong business relationships across internal functions such as R&D, Global Safety Assessment and external contract organizations.