Research Profile – Dr. Mohit Kapoor

Dr. Mohit KapoorThe ability to detect a debilitating disease is an invaluable tool to those trying to treat it. That’s why Dr. Mohit Kapoor and his team’s recent discovery of biomarkers in those with osteoarthritis is so significant. Previously, there were no specific biomarkers that could help detect and determine the extent of cartilage destruction during osteoarthritis, which could hinder treatment. This new development has the potential to change that.

This discovery, along with other advances in his work will be part of a presentation for OIRM on March 7, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Donnelley Centre in Toronto. “I’m very excited to give this talk,” says Dr. Kapoor, who is a senior scientist and Director of Arthritis Research at the Krembil Research Institute. “We are currently working on two things. First, can we detect patients with osteoarthritis at very early stages of the disease using what we call biomarkers along with the standard imaging techniques. The other is potential therapies which we believe can help halt the destruction of the joints. What I’m going to be sharing at the OIRM talk would be these potential therapies, what stage we are at and how we are moving forward in our attempts towards clinical translation of these therapies.”

Dr. Kapoor will be speaking alongside Dr. Thomas Koch from the Ontario Veterinary College, as both are employing molecular/cellular strategies to regenerate or restore damaged cartilage for those living with osteoarthritis. “Cartilage depletes over time, when somebody is injured or as we age,” says Dr. Kapoor. “The holy grail is how can we regenerate the cartilage. The bad news is that cartilage is one of the trickiest tissues to regenerate. If we can’t regenerate at least we can stop its further destruction so that patients who have osteoarthritis have an improved way of living with less pain and discomfort, as well as their joints are living longer.”

As with type 2 diabetes, there are a number of misconceptions about osteoarthritis that can affect how people look at advancements in treatment. “I hope people understand that osteoarthritis is not just a disease of aging, it’s a disease which affects an even younger population. And it should be considered a serious disease,” says Dr. Kapoor, who has often spoken about the role that genes play in the development of osteoarthritis—alongside lifestyle factors like obesity.

“We have identified specific genes and molecules which are essential for maintaining the normal well-being of a joint,” he explains. “Some genes are critical to the joint as we age, but during the aging process we lose these genes and lose the control or the maintenance of the joint structure. As a result, you get acceleration of degeneration of the joints. We’ve also looked at certain molecules [the biomarkers mentioned above], which are circulating in our blood, joint fluids as well as the joint tissues, which are critical for maintaining the overall health of the joint.”

These issues and others will be part of what promises to be an engaging and informative talk for those working in the field of regenerative medicine.

Not in Toronto? OIRM will broadcast the presentation live from our YouTube page.

Visit the OIRM event page for more information on this talk and other upcoming events. 

Article by Krista Lamb