The Journal of Anatomy Best paper prize lecture 2016 was presented by Dr Imelda McGonnell at the Anatomical Society Winter meeting at Kings College London in December 2016. The prize is awarded annually by the Anatomical Society for the paper considered to be the most outstanding published in the Journal of Anatomy in the previous year.
This paper explored the development of the cranial foramina; the “holes” in the skull that allow the passage of nerves and blood vessels through the skeletal elements and are critical for normal physiological function. Absence or closure of cranial foramina can lead to facial paralysis and can cause fatal increases in intracranial pressure. The results of the study indicate that the nerve within the foramina has a significant role in controlling cell proliferation and extracellular matrix production and that C-natriuretic peptide may be a key component of the signalling between the nerve and the skeletal tissue. The work was carried out at the RVC by Dr Sophia Akbareian who was funded by an Anatomical Society PhD studentship awarded to Dr McGonnell and Prof Andy Pitsillides, in collaboration with Dr Raymond Macharia.
Full paper title ‘Occipital foramina development involves localised regulation of mesenchyme proliferation and is independent of apoptosis’ Sophia E. Akbareian, Andrew A. Pitsillides, Raymond G. Macharia and Imelda M. McGonnell Journal of Anatomy, Volume 226, Issue 6, June 2015, pp 560-57