Osteoarthritis of the knee


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis affecting middle age to elderly populations. OA is considered a complex disease of the entire joint, including the loss of cartilage, alterations in subchondral bone, deterioration of tendons and ligaments, and various degrees of inflammation of the synovium, eventually leading to joint failure.

One of the symptomatic hallmarks of OA is pain assessed mostly based on its intensity. Paradoxically, structural changes associated with knee OA often not correlate with experienced pain, e.g., high pain intensities are reported despite a low degree of radiological OA and vice versa. Multiple pain phenotypes have been described in the literature, indicating that knee pain is complex and may be influenced by factors that are not unique to the knee joint, including psychological factors and changes in central sensitization.

The map will capture OA mechanisms related to various pain phenotypes and thereby enhance our understanding of painful knee OA. It is expected to build a map containing signalling, metabolic and gene regulatory pathways covering hallmarks of the disease mechanism supported by published evidence, discussed and consolidated with scientific and clinical experts in the field. Our objective is to identify dysregulated networks and possible recovery mechanisms for pharmacological interventions.


To discuss the project and contribute to the effort, please contact Dr. Bernd Seilheimer at bernd.seilheimer@heel.com.

Scientific and Clinical Osteoarthritis Expert Panel

Francis Berenbaum Francis Berenbaum, MD, PhD
Sorbonne University, Paris, France
Professor of Medicine at Sorbonne University; Researcher at INSERM;
Rheumatologist at the AP-HP Saint-Antoine Hospital;
Expert in the field of osteoarthritis
Joyce van Meurs Joyce B. J. van Meurs, PhD
University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Associate Professor of functional population genomics;
Expert in molecular epidemiology of osteoarthritis and chronic pain
Serge Perrot Serge Perrot, MD, PhD
Hospital Cochin, Paris University, INSERM U987, Paris, France
Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Rheumatologist and Pain Specialist;
Head of the Pain Center; Expert in musculoskeletal pain in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and neck/low back pain
Ana Valdes Ana M. Valdes, PhD
Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK
Professor in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Medicine and Health Sciences;
Expert in Bioinformatics, genetics and the molecular basis of osteoarthritis

KneePainOAMap Development Team

Alexander Mazein Alexander Mazein, PhD
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Researcher at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine
Andreas Kremer Andreas Kremer, PhD
Information Technology for Translational Medicine (ITTM) S.A., Luxembourg
Managing Director
Reinhard Schneider Reinhard Schneider, PhD
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Head of the Bioinformatics Core at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine
Kathrin Hemmer Kathrin Weyer, PhD
Heel GmbH, Germany
Preclinical Project Manager, Department of Medical Affairs & Research
Andrea Mueller Andrea Mueller, PhD
Heel GmbH, Germany
Systems Research Manager, Department of Medical Affairs & Research
Myron Schultz Myron Schultz, MDipH
Heel GmbH, Germany
Head of Medicine, Department of Medical Affairs & Research
Konstantin Cesnulevicius Konstantin Cesnulevicius, MD, PhD
Heel GmbH, Germany
Senior Medical Advisor Systems Biology/Systems Medicine, Department of Medical Affairs & Research
Bernd Seilheimer Bernd Seilheimer, PhD
Heel GmbH, Germany
Head of Systems Research and Development, Department of Medical Affairs & Research


The project is funded by Heel GmbH.