Spotlights Entries

Entry DateMarch 18, 2021
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NameKyle D. Allen
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2. Tell us about your current program of research and/or activities and projects that you are currently involved in.

The centering question for my laboratory is ‘how do degenerative musculoskeletal diseases, like osteoarthritis, cause pain and disability?’ While seemingly simple, this question is quite complex, as the relationship between pathology and symptoms changes during the long, chronic stages of these diseases. Within this objective, my laboratory is currently developing novel ways to examine symptomology in rodent models of joint disease so that we can continue to develop new therapies. We are also actively developing new methods to interfere with catabolic and pro-inflammatory disease processes in joint diseases. Finally, we are working to develop novel techniques to collect and analyze joint-level molecular changes in order to develop better diagnostics for joint diseases and joint pain.

4. Where do you see your career going in the future? What are your goals and aspirations?

We are becoming more and more interested in changes that happen outside of the joint. While the degeneration of the joint is the key sign of joint disease, the changes that happen throughout the body may be better determinants of symptoms. Understanding these extra-articular changes is becoming a major focal point for my lab.

5. Tell us something fun that you do in your spare time or any hobbies that you enjoy.

I have 3 young kids and try to spend as much time with them as I can. I very rarely work on weekends due to that, and love building forts with my son, playing volleyball with one of my daughters, or building lego contraptions with other daughter. I'm also a pretty good cook - love to cook - and the kitchen is absolutely my domain in our house. I also used to be a pretty good golfer, and look forward to do that again, once my kids aren't interested in me anymore.

3. Tell us about how you got involved in pain and/or aging research. Was there a moment that inspired you?

I've been focused on joint diseases since my dissertation work in the early 2000s, but at that stage, I was more focused on cartilage and how it functioned. During my PhD studies, literature that discussed the disconnect between joint degeneration and joint disease symptoms was really fascinating to me. So, as a post-doctoral fellow, I transitioned into studying relationships between joint degeneration and the development of symptoms.