Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine

Donald Salter Research Group

Translating the Potential of Proteogenomics and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Theranostics for the Treatment of Musculoskeletal Disease

Section: Experimental Medicine

Professor Donald Salter

Research in a Nutshell

Our focus is on musculoskeletal disorders, aiming to increase the understanding of the pathological processes involved and to identify new targets for translational studies.  Currently we are focussing on the use of mesenchymal stromal cells for bone and cartilage repair and as theragnostic agents in the treatment of cancer. We have developed a novel transgenic approach that allows mesenchymal stromal cells to produce magnetic nanoparticles. These intrinsically magnetic cells are being assessed in parallel with MSCs carrying engineered nanoparticles  for their effectiveness as delivery systems for a range of clinical applications including  bone and cartilage repair, for in vivo imaging, magnetic hyperthermia treatment or for radiosensitsation for cancer therapy. As part of a multidisciplinary group in Edinburgh studying sarcoma proteogenomics we are developing new animal models and using patient tumours to deeply probe molecular abnormalities in sarcomas with the aim of identifying biomarkers and abnormal pathways that will be targetable allowing specific personalised therapy. This includes using a molecular and proteomic approach on patient samples to identify novel mutations. Molecules such as NG2/CSPG4 appear to be expressed in greater amounts in soft tissue and bone sarcomas and identifying how dysregulated expression of this molecule influences sarcoma growth and spread is a prime theme of current research.

 Donald Salter lab


Professor Donald Salter Group leader
Lisa Lungaro PhD student
Harrison Worrell PhD student
Fiano Kerans PhD student




  • Professor Ted Hupp, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Val Brunton, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Stuart Ralston, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Simon Langdon, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Roberto Perris, University of Parma

Partners and Funders

  • Bone Cancer Research Trust
  • Sarcoma UK

Scientific Themes

Chondrocyte cell biology, osteoarthritis, sarcoma pathology, magnetic hyperthermia

Technology Expertise

Transgenic stem cell magnetisation for theragnostic development