Jack Thomson Arthritis Fund

The OMRF funds Jack Thomson Bequest grants to support arthritis-focused medical research carried out in Otago. Projects are financed by income from a 2011 bequest to the Foundation by the late William John (Jack) Thomson.

Mr Thomson, a former Dunedin chartered accountant and company secretary, donated a $2 million dollar bequest to the Otago Medical Research Foundation. He suffered from debilitating arthritis in his latter years and often talked about how he would like to help with research into a disease which robbed him of his mobility but certainly not his enthusiasm for life.

The OMRF is delighted to be able to retain his name in perpetuity through his generous bequest which support medical research.

Two grants < $40,000 are awarded annually to research into the cause and treatment of arthritis.

2022 Grants

Influence of footwear lower limb movement patterns following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Principal investigator: Associate Professor Gisela Sole, School of Physiotherapy, Health Sciences, University of Otago

People with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures of the knee have a high risk for developing knee osteoarthritis within 10 years. Movement patterns of the knee during walking, jumping or running can be used to indicate risk for future osteoarthritis. We will explore how such knee movement patterns differ between people with ACL reconstructions and knee- healthy people, and how footwear inserts may change such movement patterns. Those movement patterns will be assessed in a University Human Movement laboratory using three- dimensional movement analysis while participants undertake a series of physical tasks. The results will inform future rehabilitation strategies to improve outcomes of the injury as well as decreasing risk for osteoarthritis.


Inflammation in knee osteoarthritis: biomarker response to clinical trial interventions

Principal investigator: Dr Cathy Chapple, School of Physiotherapy, Health Sciences, University of Otago

Knee osteoarthritis is very common, with people suffering from pain, inability to undertake their usual activities and decreased quality of life. Many treatments are available but not everyone responds in the same way, possibly due to different types of osteoarthritis, including an inflammatory type. Biomarkers in blood may be one way to measure inflammation and response to treatment. This study will measure biomarkers in people with knee osteoarthritis taking part in a clinical trial of physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medication. It will evaluate if biomarkers match patient clinical signs and symptoms, and whether they change in response to treatment.

Previous Grants