Inflammatory arthritis is a group of diseases characterized by inflammation of the joints and often other tissues. Professor Christopher Buckley will lead on the Inflammatory Arthritis theme. The overarching aim of our theme is to improve clinical outcomes for those with and at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) by developing diagnostic tests, drugs and cell-based therapies to predict, prevent and reverse disease pathology.
The aims are therefore to predict the development of RA and SS using new diagnostic tests including autoantibodies and metabolomic profiling, to prevent the development of RA and SS using novel cell-based and microbiome-based therapies and to identify and target mechanisms driving the progression of disease and harness the therapeutic potential of mechanisms involved in regulating the resolution of disease.
The theme has been structured on a “process-driven pathway-focused” approach to inflammatory arthritis which allows the inflammatory arthritis theme to interweave with others themes in the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Our key ambition is to implement a novel Arthritis-Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP) which not only utilizes the new biological targets we discover but repurposes drugs based on improved understanding of shared biological processes.
Our multidisciplinary team of academic and clinical rheumatologists, general practitioners, biologists, allied health professionals and patient representatives work in an integrated way to develop and deliver our experimental research programme through our two well-established clinical cohorts. We have and will continue to collaborate closely with colleagues in the other NIHR Biomedical Research Centre themes (sarcopenia and bowel disease) as well as colleagues in the Oxford BRC inflammation theme, as part of our developing A-TAP Alliance.