Professor of Rheumatology
NIHR Senior Investigator
NIHR Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative, Associate Director Translational Research
I am Head of the Molecular and Personalised Medicine Group within the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine. I graduated from the University of Leeds with first class honours in Pathology and a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery with Honours, having achieved distinctions in Biochemistry and Surgery, and Prizes in Medicine and Surgery. I chose a clinical career in rheumatology and subsequently undertook a PhD studying Fcg Receptor genetics in rheumatoid arthritis, supported by an MRC Clinical Training Fellowship. I continued my research in Fcg Receptor biology during an Arthritis Research UK/Academy of Medical Sciences Clinician Scientist Fellowship. The award of my HEFCE Clinical Senior Lectureship allowed me to continue my work on the FcgRs, whilst developing new academic interests in genetic and soluble biomarkers and disease outcomes.
My main clinical interests are vasculitis and rare autoimmune diseases, and I lead the regional Behçets syndrome and large vessel vasculitis services.
My active research projects range from laboratory studies to large data analysis and I also undertake patient-focused research. I Chair both the UK GCA Consortium and the MRC TARGET Partnership and I’m establishing an expanding research programme in vascular biology.
Academic responsibilities: Head of Molecular and Personalised Medicine group; Chair UK GCA Consortium; MRC TARGET Partnership Lead; NIHR BRC, Personalised Medicine and Drug Repurposing Work Stream Lead; MRC-MATURA, Methotrexate & Rituximab Pharmacogenetics Studies Lead; Leeds MRC Medical Bioinformatics Centre, Musculoskeletal Lead; NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (DEC), Musculoskeletal Lead and UKiVAS large vessel vasculitis Research Lead.
Patient groups and charity responsibilities: Vasculitis UK (Medical Board), PMRGCAuk (Medical Advisor), Behçet’s Syndrome Society (Medical Board).
Management responsibilities: the Molecular and Personalised Medicine group consists of seven staff (two further members of staff will be appointed in early 2019). Academic staff: Dr Jim Robinson, Dr Ana Tiganescu and Dr Euan Baxter. TARGET Programme Office: Programme Manager, Dr Charlotte Harden and Project Manager, Dr Louise Sorensen. Immunogenetics Facility Technicians: Mr Steve Martin and Mrs Lubna Shafi.
Grant management responsibilities: I am currently PI on four grants and Co-I on an additional eight grants, some of which are highlighted below:
MRC Partnership Award, Treatment According to Response in Giant cEll arteritis (TARGET) £700,000
European Union Marie Skodowska-Curie – Innovative Training Network, HELICAL (HEalth data LInkage for ClinicaL benefit), Lead for work package 2: identification of key pathogenic pathways suitable for therapeutic targeting in GCA €316672.56
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Award, Workstream Lead for Drug Repurposing and Treatment Toxicity £6,736,575
NIHR EME, Optimal utilisation of biologic drugs in Behçet’s Diseases: a randomised controlled trial of infliximab vs alpha interferon, with genotyping and metabolomic profiling, towards a stratified medicines approach £571,469
MRC and Arthritis Research UK Stratified Medicine Award, MAximising Therapeutic Utility of Rheumatoid Arthritis using genetic and genomic tissue responses to stratify medicines (MATURA consortium), Lead Methotrexate Pharmacogenetics and FCGR Pharmacogenetics Programmes £6,036, 988
Head of the Molecular and Personalised Medicine group
Academic Training Programme Director for Rheumatology