The Research Team at the University of Oxford

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The University of Oxford has been a major centre for FOP research since the mid-1970s when Professor Jim Triffitt and Dr Roger Smith began their collaborative studies that culminated in the co-discovery of the causative gene for FOP, ACVR1, in 2006.

Now with Emeritus status, Professor Triffitt is collaborating with Dr Alex Bullock to develop ACVR1 inhibitors as an effective treatment for FOP.

The University of Oxford FOP Research Team is investigating precisely how ACVR1 is activated in FOP patients to induce unwanted bone formation and how drug-like molecules might stop this devastating process. With the help of the Structural Genomics Consortium, the team has elucidated the 3D structures of the ACVR1 protein bound to a variety of different drug-like molecules. This information is being used to design safer and more specific molecules that are strictly necessary before patient clinical trials can be considered.

The research efforts for FOP are entirely supported at the University of Oxford by monies raised by FOP Friends, as well as other patients and their families and friends.  The research team owes a great debt to these individuals for their extensive efforts to support this work.  They are greatly encouraged by their contact with patients and families and are striving to accelerate knowledge on FOP to achieve the therapeutic goal.

The team at the University of Oxford is led by Professor Alex Bullock.  The team is currently renewing itself as the current members move on to new roles.  While Dr Ellie Williams has moved to a new department, she continues to have a passionate interest in FOP and is always around to answer our questions!

Professor Jim Triffitt, who has been an integral part of the FOP journey for many years, including the discovery of the FOP gene, has now retired.  However, he has Emeritus Professor status and retains an interest in FOP. We are thankful for his continued support and commitment to FOP research.

Read Professor Bullock’s profile: Alex Bullock, Professor of Structural and Chemical Biology

We are delighted to share with you, a Spring Q&A with Professor Alex Bullock.  To download click here: SPRING 2022 Q&A

Dr Ellie Williams has also written an FOP Research update.  To download click here: FOP RESEARCH UPDATE: SPRING

You can also download the Spring 2022, translated into Spanish, here: Equipo de Investigación de FOP de la Universidad de Oxford: Preguntas y respuestas con el profesor Alex Bullock Primavera 2022

The University of Oxford have played a pivotal role in the development of the STOPFOP trial, and the trial has been part-funded by FOP Friends.

Click here: STOPFOP to watch the webinar from July 2020

To learn more about the STOPFOP trial, visit the website: