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Stephanie Dakin


Associate Professor

  • Oxford-UCB Prize Fellow
  • Chair of Directors of the Taught MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences


Stephanie Dakin graduated as a veterinary surgeon in 2003 from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). After undertaking an internship specialising in equine orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust (Newmarket), 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 and was awarded consecutive Fellowships funded by Arthritis Research UK and Oxford-UCB to advance and translate her research on equine tendinopathy into the human field. Stephanie's research focuses on identifying the mechanisms underpinning the development of chronic inflammation and fibrosis in soft tissue disease of the joint. The over-arching goal of her research is to discover novel therapeutic strategies to promote resolution of inflammation 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 the Chair of Directors for the Taught MSc in Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford. This part time 2-year course integrating both 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



Musculoskeletal soft tissue diseases present an immense global disease burden and significant cost to the NHS. Soft tissue 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. My programme of research 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

We aim to generate new insights into how tissue resident cells are implicated in driving disease affecting musculoskeletal soft tissues. Findings from this research will enhance understanding of how musculoskeletal soft tissue disorders develop, explore the mechanisms by which pain is perceived during injury and improve understanding of how these injured tissues heal. Importantly this work will identify novel therapeutic targets and strategies and help people with musculoskeletal disease 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

Key publications

Recent publications

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