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Stephanie Dakin


Associate Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences

  • Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellow
  • DGS Taught MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences
  • Research Fellow Green Templeton College


Stephanie graduated as a veterinary surgeon in 2003 from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London. After undertaking an internship specialising in equine orthopaedics, she then spent 5 years in practice as an equine veterinary clinician. In 2008, Stephanie commenced a PhD at the RVC researching the role of inflammation in equine tendinopathy, which was successfully completed in 2012. 

Stephanie moved to NDORMS in 2013 to advance and translate her research from horses to humans. She successfully secured consecutive research Fellowships funded by Versus Arthritis (Foundation Fellowship), an Oxford-UCB Prize Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences and more recently a Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellowship. In 2020, Stephanie was appointed Associate Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences at NDORMS and a Research Fellow at Green Templeton College

Stephanie's research focuses on identifying the mechanisms underpinning the development of chronic inflammatory fibrosis in soft tissue joint disease. The over-arching goal of her research is to discover novel therapeutic strategies to promote resolution of inflammation and fibrosis in chronically inflamed soft tissues, with a particular focus on tendinopathy and frozen shoulder. Her key collaborators in the Department are Professor Andrew Carr and Professor Christopher Buckley. View about media associated with Stephanie's work under 'Featured Research'. 

Stephanie is also Director of Graduate Studies for the Taught MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford. This part time 2-year course integrating orthopaedics and rheumatology delivers an internationally renowned programme. For more information on this course see the  Taught MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences  or contact the Course Administrator. Stephanie obtained PGCert TLHE qualification in 2020 and is recognised as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



Soft tissue joint diseases present an immense global burden and significant cost to the NHS. Pathologies affecting tendons (tendinopathy), tendon–bone attachments (enthesopathy) and the joint capsule (frozen shoulder) are common causes of pain, chronic disability and reduction in life quality, which are exacerbated with ageing. 

Joint soft tissues, including the synovium, capsule, tendon and entheses, are predominantly composed of mesenchymal stromal cells including fibroblasts, tissue-resident macrophages and blood and lymphatic vascular endothelial cells. Our research programme investigates the cellular and molecular processes concerned with the development of chronic inflammation and fibrosis in disorders of musculoskeletal soft tissues to:

* Identify the cellular basis of diseases affecting tendons (tendinopathy, tendon tears) and the shoulder joint capsule (frozen shoulder)

* Identify new therapeutic strategies to promote resolution of inflammation in tendinopathy and frozen shoulder

Research Impacts

Our research will generate new insights into how tissue resident cells of the joint drive chronic inflammation and fibrosis. Findings from this research will advance understanding of how musculoskeletal soft tissue disorders develop and how injured tissues heal. Our research will inform new strategies to treat common musculoskeletal diseases, helping patients keep fit for improved future health.

See more information about the Dakin Group.

Free access

Inflammation activation and resolution in human tendon disease
Dakin et al. 2015
Science Translational Medicine

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Increased 15-PGDH expression leads to dysregulated resolution responses in stromal cells from patients with chronic tendinopathy

Dakin et al. 2017

Scientific Reports

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Chronic inflammation is a feature of Achilles tendinopathy and rupture

Dakin et al. 2017

British Journal of Sports Medicine

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Pathogenic stromal cells as therapeutic targets in joint inflammation

Dakin et al. 2018

Nature Reviews Rheumatology

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