GANGTOK, Dec 20
Dr. Polly Lama, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS), under Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) has earned another feather in her cap with the publication of her research paper in the prestigious and highly cited “Nature Journal”.
The research paper, titled “Physical disruption of intervertebral disc promotes cell clustering and a degenerative phenotype” which Dr. Lama authored was published in the 17 December 2019 edition of Nature. Nature is a British multidisciplinary scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. It is one of the most recognizable scientific journals in the world, and was ranked the world’s most cited scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports and is ascribed an impact factor of 43.070, making it one of the world’s top academic journals. The paper was published in the Cell Death Discovery section of the Journal, an international online-only, open access journal dedicated to publishing research at the intersection of cell death and medicine.
The published article has thoroughly developed the topic on low back pain and interverbal disc degeneration far beyond the superficial level and acknowledges the complexities of molecular re-modelling in diseases such as low back pain and its possible repair strategies.
This original piece of research was funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research Grant 5/7/1290/2015 RCH and was carried out in SMIMS and University of Bristol, UK where Dr Polly Lama was a former Spine Research Fellow. This article also makes Dr Polly Lama as one of the first person in Sikkim to have a paper published in one of the highly acclaimed scientific journals in this world.
The online link to the article can be found as https://www.nature.com/articles/s41420-019-0233-z.
According to Dr. Lama, “Low back pain” is one of the commonest musculoskeletal complaints that affects millions of people worldwide. The etiology of low back pain is complex and at a molecular level is characterized by microarchitectural deterioration of the tissue, cells and extracellular matrix that leads to progressive degenerative changes, vicious cycle of chronic inflammatory responses, and is more severe following age-related injuries and diseases.
“Low back pain is often caused by damaged intervertebral discs which are fibrocartilages located between the vertebrae of the spine. Intervertebral discs are considered to be irreversible to heal, and this is due to lack of understanding of the events that lie behind degeneration of discs, resulting in ineffective treatment strategies. Consequently, there is an unmet need to improve our understanding on the healing process in intervertebral disc degeneration,” she added.
Lt. Gen Dr M D Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor, SMU, Dr KS Sherpa Registrar, SMU and Associate Dean, Research, SMIMS, Dr Bidita Khandelwal have congratulated Dr. Lama on this achievement.