Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Camden

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology, CPCS (Research Programme)

Scott has over 15 years’ experience in musculoskeletal research and is an internationally recognised member of the research field. He conducted seminal work characterising the biochemical events surrounding bone formation and in particular investigating the role of a novel enzyme, PHOSPHO1, in the mineralisation process. Scott discovered substrates for this enzyme and proposed its role in matrix vesicle-mediated bone mineralisation. This concept has now been tested and replicated in multiple labs across the globe. Scott also has a wealth of experience in skeletal stem cell signalling and the effect of signal modulation on bone tissue formation. This work was initiated at the KU Leuven (Belgium), where he used transcriptomic analysis of in vivo events to define regulators of tissue formation that could be used to prime stem cells for repair and regeneration. During his time in Belgium, Scott was awarded a fellowship from the Scientific Research Council of Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen). In September 2013, Scott was recruited to form a research group at the UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, University College London (UCL). In January 2016 Scott moved to UCB Pharma as a Senior Principal Scientist. During his time at UCB Scott identified musculoskeletal drug targets and led subsequent drug discovery efforts. Furthermore, he supported the development of Bimekizumab and Romosozumab clinical programs through the contribution of insight/data on skeletal biology/disease. In August 2019 Scott was appointed Senior Lecturer, and subsequently Reader, in Translational Skeletal Research at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

Scott's research group aims to define the mechanisms of musculoskeletal development, disease and repair. The overall goal of his research is to identify and target cells and pathways to control bone and cartilage regeneration. Scott also has a long-standing interest in creating laboratory-grown models of skeletal tissues for the testing of biopharmaceuticals and compounds that may have applications to skeletal disease.

Selected Publications

Shah, M; Maroof, A; Gikas, P; Mittal, G; Keen, R; Baeten, D; Shaw, S; Roberts, S J (2020)
Dual neutralisation of IL-17F and IL-17A with bimekizumab blocks inflammation-driven osteogenic differentiation of human periosteal cells
RMD Open.  6(2).  

Luyten, F.P. and Roberts, S.J. (2018) Close to the bone - in search of the skeletal stem cell. Nature Reviews of Rheumatology, 12, 687-688.

Vas, W.J., Shah, M., Blacker, T.S., Duchen, M.R., Sibbons, P. and Roberts, S.J. (2018) Decellularized Cartilage Directs Chondrogenic Differentiation: Creation of a Fracture Callus Mimetic. Tissue Engineering Part A Online.

Mendes, L.F., Katagiri, H., Tam, W.L., Chai, Y.C., Geris, L., Roberts, S.J.* and Luyten, F.P. (2018) Advancing osteochondral tissue engineering: bone morphogenetic protein, transforming growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor signaling drive ordered differentiation of periosteal cells resulting in stable cartilage and bone formation in vivo. Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 9, 42 Online (*Joint Senior Author).

Mendes, L.F., Tam, W.L., Chai, Y.C., Geris, L., Luyten, F.P. and Roberts, S.J. (2016) Combinatorial Analysis of Growth Factors Reveals the Contribution of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins to Chondrogenic Differentiation of Human Periosteal Cells. Tissue Engineering 22, 473-486.

Bolander, J., Chai, Y.C., Geris, L., Schrooten, J., Lambrechts, D., Roberts, S.J.* and Luyten, F.P. (2016) Early BMP, Wnt and Ca(2+)/PKC pathway activation predicts the bone forming capacity of periosteal cells in combination with calcium phosphates. Biomaterials. 86, 106-118 (*Joint Senior Author).

Tam, W.L., O, D.F., Hiramatsu, K., Tsumaki, N., Luyten, F.P. and Roberts, S.J. (2014) Sox9 reprogrammed dermal fibroblasts undergo hypertrophic differentiation in vitro and trigger endochondral ossification in vivo. Cell Reprogramming 16, 29-39.

Roberts, S.J., Owen, H.C., Tam, W.L., Solie, L., Van Cromphaut, S., Van den Berghe, G. and Luyten, F.P. (2013) Humanized culture of periosteal progenitors in allogeneic serum enhances osteo-commitment and in vivo bone formation. STEM CELLS Translational Medicine 3, 218-228.

Eyckmans, J., Roberts, S.J*.,  Bolander, J., Chen, C. and Luyten, F.P. (2013) Mapping early bone formation gene networks allows targeted osteoinduction of human periosteal progenitors in vitro and in vivo. Biomaterials 34, 4612-4621 (*Joint First Author).

Roberts, S.J., Chen, Y., Moesen, M., Schrooten, J. and Luyten, F.P. (2011) Enhancement of osteogenic gene expression for the differentiation of human periosteal derived cells. Stem Cell Research 7, 137-144.

Roberts, S.J., Geris, L., Kerckhofs, G., Desmet, E., Schrooten, J., Luyten, F.P. (2011) The combined bone forming capacity of human periosteal derived cells and calcium phosphates. Biomaterials 32, 4393-4405.

Roberts, S.J., Owen, H.C. and Farquharson, C. (2008) Identification of a novel splice variant of the haloacid dehalogenase; PHOSPHO1. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 371, 872-876.

Roberts, S.J., Narisawa, S., Harmey, D., Millan, J.L. and Farquharson, C. (2007) Functional evidence for a role of PHOSPHO1 in matrix vesicle mediated skeletal mineralization. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 22, 617-627.

Roberts, S.J., Stewart, A.J., Schmid, R., Blindauer, C.A., Bond, S.R., Sadler, P.J. and Farquharson, C. (2005) Probing the substrate specificities of human PHOSPHO1 and PHOSPHO2. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1752, 73-82.

Roberts, S.J., Stewart, A.J., Sadler, P.J. and Farquharson, C. (2004) Human PHOSPHO1 exhibits high specific phosphoethanolamine and phosphocholine phosphatase activities. Biochemical Journal 382, 59-65.






Scott currently lectures on the on 'Advanced Skeletal Pathobiology' module (BSc Bioveterinary/Biological Sciences) and guest lectures on the 'Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine' module (Biomedical Science) at UCL.

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