I am a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust.
My work focusses trying to improve outcomes for people with rheumatoid and other forms of inflammatory arthritis through a better understanding of the disease processes that occur in the immune system to initiate these conditions. As Chief Investigator of the Northeast Early Arthritis Cohort, I oversee laboratory work that makes use of biological samples donated by patient volunteers with recent-onset disease that help us in this endeavour. These include samples taken from blood, but also the lining of patients’ inflamed joints – something that we do using a minimally invasive, ultrasound-guided technique at the CRF. I collaborate widely, both inside and outside the UK, with clinical and scientific colleagues who share an ambition to improve the lives of people with immune-mediated arthritis. Importantly, our work is greatly enhanced by input from our local Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in Musculoskeletal ReSearch (PIMS) group – whose membership we are always looking to expand!
I serve as Principle Investigator for a number of clinical trials in Experimental Rheumatology. For example, Newcastle leads a study called TRAFIC, in which we are trying out a type of medicine in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that blocks a potential disease pathway never before targeted in this disease. In another trial, we have been using drugs in patients at high risk of developing RA to see if we can prevent it – something that has hardly ever been tried before.