Tuesday 3 December 2019

MRG November Publications

Featuring Tolergenic dendritic cells, MRI and rituximab for JIA patients.

Targeting of tolerogenic dendritic cells to heat-shock proteins in inflammatory arthritis.
Spiering R, Jansen MAA, Wood MJ, Fath AA, Eltherington O, Anderson AE, Pratt AG, van Eden W, Isaacs JD, Broere F, Hilkens CMU.
J Transl Med. 2019 Nov 14;17(1):375. doi: 10.1186/s12967-019-2128-4.
PMID: 31727095 [PubMed - in process] Free Article
Similar articles 

Can quantitative MRI be used in the clinical setting to quantify the impact of intra-articular glucocorticoid injection on synovial disease activity in juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
Bennett JL, Wood A, Smith N, Mistry R, Allen K, Jandial S, Tuckett JD, Gowdy SC, Foster HE, McErlane F, Hollingsworth KG.
Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2019 Nov 21;17(1):74. doi: 10.1186/s12969-019-0377-7.
PMID: 31752877 [PubMed - in process] Free PMC Article
Similar articles 

Use and effectiveness of rituximab in children and young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in a cohort study in the United Kingdom.
Kearsley-Fleet L, Sampath S, McCann LJ, Baildam E, Beresford MW, Davies R, De Cock D, Foster HE, Southwood TR, Thomson W, Hyrich KL.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2019 Feb 1;58(2):331-335. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/key306.
PMID: 30358861 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
Similar articles

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Sjogrens Syndrome in the News

See https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/latest/2019/10/sjogrensyndromebreakthrough/

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Synovial Fibroblasts


Faculty Seminar



Kirsten Klein

Centre of Experimental Rheumatology, University Hospital Zurich







Thursday 17th October 2019



11.30 – 12.30


Kirsten will present:


"Epigenetics of synovial fibroblasts"


Synovial fibroblasts are the most abundant stromal cells in joints that promote inflammation and drive joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis. Synovial fibroblasts from different joint localizations exhibit profound differences in their expression profiles, which translate into a joint specific enrichment of arthritis relevant pathways, molecules and functional differences. Epigenetic factors act as intermediaries to link genetic and environmental risk factors to altered gene expression levels in a cell type-specific manner. Epigenetic mechanisms define the positional identity of synovial fibroblasts and underlie their role in persistent inflammation. Interfering with epigenetic modifications and their related epigenetic enzymes have therapeutic potential in rheumatoid arthritis.



Professor John Isaacs








Friday 11 October 2019

PSORT Showcase - 18th November 2019, Royal College of Physicians, London

The PSORT (Psoriasis Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy) Stratified Medicine Consortium will host a one day Showcase event at the Royal College of Physicians, London to highlight its progress, achievements and plans for the future.

Formed by dermatologists, industry partners (including pharmaceutical companies), the British Association of Dermatologists and importantly, the Psoriasis Association, PSORT was established to determine whether it could predict which patients with psoriasis would respond best to a particular biologic drug. This, rather than the existing system of "trial and error" prescribing, would allow new treatment plans to be devised that would be personalised to the individual with psoriasis.  If successful, such stratification might also achieve cost savings to the NHS and aid the pharmaceutical industry in the development of new drugs for psoriasis.

The Showcase will focus on how the key aspects of our programme have worked together for patient benefit. It will feature invited lectures by leading international speakers (academic, clinical, industry) interspersed amongst updates from scientists and clinicians from the PSORT team. These will be supplemented by a lunchtime poster exhibition. The day concludes with a networking wine reception.

The Showcase is free to attend and is open to the research community, industry, founders and patients alike.

Join us as we discuss how our findings might be of relevance to you. 

To register, please use the BAD registration link  https://www.eventsforce.net/bad/277/home



Friday 27 September 2019

What Can Patients Tell Us About Sjӧgren's Syndrome?

Apparently, they can tell us quite a lot. 

Three international cohorts, two clinical trials including patient reported symptoms, clinical and  biological data, proteomics and transcriptomics. 

See the latest paper in The Lancet Rheumatology.

Thursday 26 September 2019

Prof Andy Mellor on Immunotherapy for Chronic Diseases

PI Seminar Series


Professor Andy Mellor



Dental Lecture Theatre E



Wednesday 2nd October 2019



13:00 – 14:00


Andy Mellor will present:


"Immunotherapy for chronic diseases: Can we stop the wheels spinning?"


Chronic conditions create huge and growing health care burdens worldwide. Chronic tissue inflammation is a hallmark of many chronic conditions, including cancers, chronic infections, autoimmune cardiovascular and neuro-inflammatory diseases and allergies.   Inflammation activates immune cells to incite protective responses against pathogenic organisms. If unresolved, inflammation causes progressive immune dys-function and increased risk of tissue damage and disease. Immune checkpoints discovered in mouse models of cancer offer new insights into the causes and consequences of chronic inflammation and how to manipulate inflammation to modify immune balance for clinical benefit. Our recent work on mouse models of cancer and autoimmune syndromes provides fresh perspectives on how to manipulate the immune system to prevent and treat chronic conditions




Professor Mark Walker



Monday 16 September 2019

Lancet Seminar on Sarcopenia

Check out the Lancet seminar on sarcopenia at https://www.newcastlebrc.nihr.ac.uk/news/publication-of-lancet-seminar-on-sarcopenia/

Monday 5 August 2019

Latest MRG Publications

And another batch of publications from the Musculoskeletal Research Group

1.A two-phase cohort study of the sleep phenotype within primary Sjögren's syndrome and its clinical correlates.
Lewis I, Hackett KL, Ng WF, Ellis J, Newton JL.
Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2019 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 31365332 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Similar articles
2.IL-6 Mediated Transcriptional Programming of Naïve CD4+ T Cells in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Drives Dysregulated Effector Function.
Ridgley LA, Anderson AE, Maney NJ, Naamane N, Skelton AJ, Lawson CA, Emery P, Isaacs JD, Carmody RJ, Pratt AG.
Front Immunol. 2019 Jul 3;10:1535. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01535. eCollection 2019.
PMID: 31333666 [PubMed - in process] Free PMC Article
Similar articles
3.Arthritis prevention in the pre-clinical phase of RA with abatacept (the APIPPRA study): a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled clinical trial protocol.
Al-Laith M, Jasenecova M, Abraham S, Bosworth A, Bruce IN, Buckley CD, Ciurtin C, D'Agostino MA, Emery P, Gaston H, Isaacs JD, Filer A, Fisher BA, Huizinga TWJ, Ho P, Jacklin C, Lempp H, McInnes IB, Pratt AG, Östor A, Raza K, Taylor PC, van Schaardenburg D, Shivapatham D, Wright AJ, Vasconcelos JC, Kelly J, Murphy C, Prevost AT, Cope AP.
Trials. 2019 Jul 15;20(1):429. doi: 10.1186/s13063-019-3403-7.
PMID: 31307535 [PubMed - in process] Free PMC Article
Similar articles
4.Predicting drug-free remission in rheumatoid arthritis: A prospective interventional cohort study.
Baker KF, Skelton AJ, Lendrem DW, Scadeng A, Thompson B, Pratt AG, Isaacs JD.
J Autoimmun. 2019 Jul 4. pii: S0896-8411(19)30196-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2019.06.009. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 31280933 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Free Article
Similar articles

Monday 20 May 2019


Including Nicola Smith on Paediatric Musculoskeletal Care...




ICM Research in Progress Seminar

Monday 20th May


Anastasia Resteu

(Dr Venetia Bigley, Prof Matthew Collin, Dr Roman Bauer)

Differential IRF8 requirement defines two pathways of dendritic cell development in vivo

Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialised antigen-processing and presenting cells with critical roles in the regulation of immunity. Human DC subsets develop in the bone marrow under the control of specific transcription factors, mutation of which can result in dendritic cell immunodeficiency in humans. However, how human DCs develop from haematopoietic stem cells is not well mapped.

Single cell transcriptomics, combined with phenotyping and in vitro culture of healthy controls were used to define two distinct pathways of DC development. Their differential requirement for transcription factor IRF8 was interrogated through the analysis of a unique series of patients with IRF8 mutations.


Nicola Smith

(Prof Helen Foster)

Evaluation of Educational Resources Designed to Facilitate Access to Care for Children with Musculoskeletal Conditions

Children with musculoskeletal diseases have a delay in access to specialist care, with impact on quality of life, development and long term outcomes. If we are to achieve our goal of raising awareness and early recognition of rheumatic disease in childhood through education, we need to understand if, and how, our e-resources lead to change in clinical practice. Our work focuses on developing and piloting an evaluation strategy of the e-resources in real-time, across the stakeholder groups, in order to allow iterative development, optimise uptake and gain insights on impact.


Chair: Henrique De Paula Lemos Dental Lecture Theatre D

1pm - 2pm


Monday 1 April 2019

NIHR Trial of Pediatric Tools

Here it is! 

As featured in the NIHR Newsletter - the pgalsplus trial.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Public and Patient Involvement at Newcastle

"Studies designed with patients and the public involved from the beginning are much more likely to have a positive impact in the long run."

Monday 18 March 2019

FATIGUE: My Life, Your Research

Registration is now open!

Fatigue: My life, your research


Date: Wednesday 3 April 2019

Venue: Grainger Suite, Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP
Time: 11:00-15:00 (Registration from 10:30-11:00)

Refreshments will be provided


NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria is organising an event on Fatigue Research.


We aim to raise awareness of fatigue and explore how it affects many different conditions. In partnership with patients, we will discuss ways to develop new research studies to increase opportunities for patient and public involvement in fatigue research across our region.


The event is free and open to patients, carers, GPs and researchers who have an interest in Fatigue research.   


Our aims:

● Learn about current research taking place in fatigue across the region.

● Hear from patients living with fatigue and the impact it has on their lives.

● Share your views and take part in discussions to define what we mean by fatigue.

● Explore how we can develop new research studies in fatigue.

● Discover the support and resources available around the region in our marketplace.


The event is free but please register a place: https://nencfatigue.eventbrite.co.uk    


Tuesday 12 March 2019

Understanding biology at omics and structural levels

Thursday 14th March in L2.4 
Understanding Biology at omics and structural levels
Dr Chichau Miau, Cambridge

The talk entitled "Understanding Biology at omics and structural levels" will cover some research work in single cell RNA-seq and computational structural biology. The single cell RNA-seq studies, which are parts of the Human Cell Atlas project, include understanding the sequencing platform, using artificial intelligence to correct the error in single cell experiments and an automatic cell type related clustering method. In addition, an application to the liver cell analysis will demonstrate how to understand the cell to cell variability, cell-cell interaction and cell development using single cell RNA-seq. The computational structural biology part will introduce RNA-Puzzles, which is a world-wide contest in RNA 3D structure prediction, and protein structure/function prediction.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

III theme meeting Friday 15th February 9:15 Baddiley Clark seminar room

Our next III Theme meeting will take place on Friday 15th February at 9:15-10:45 am in the Baddiley-Clark seminar room.


Marie-Helene Ruchaud-Sparagano from John Simpson's group and Arthur Pratt will discuss their current research (30 minute each).

Monday 4 February 2019

Steve Eyre - "RA - post GWAS.

Steve Eyre from Manchester is giving tomorrow's IGM seminar at 1 PM about "RA - post GWAS.  

I have been involved in researching the genetic susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since I joined the Arthritis Research Centre of Excellence, based at the University of Manchester, UK in 1996. Initially focussing on linkage studies using the large collection of family samples collected at the Centre as part of the National Repository, I quickly moved onto genome wide association studies (GWAS), as part of the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC), before leading on the fine-mapping of RA loci in the Immunochip study (Nature Genetics, 2012). This study used over 27,000 samples and led to the discovery of 14 new RA susceptibility loci. In recent years my lab has focussed on understanding the mechanisms by which these DNA variants lead to an increase risk of disease. In collaboration with Peter Fraser (Babraham, Cambridge) and Chris Wallace (University of Cambridge), my group has developed methods to interrogate the regions that are associated with RA, mainly regulatory enhancer regions, to determine the interacting gene targets. Using this Capture HiC methodology we are discovering how long range interactions, often involving multiple regions associated with different autoimmune diseases, regulate gene expression. In addition I have established collaborations with Soumya Raychaudhuri (Harvard Medical School, Boston),  Caroline Ospelt (Zurich) and David Sansom (UCL), to look at the immunological, epigenetic and non-coding RNA consequences of the RA associated regions. These methods include ChIP, ATAC-Seq, RNA-seq and CRISPR genome editing.

NF-κB Transcription Factors in B-Cell Lymphomagenesis

PI Seminar Series



Ulf Klein

Professor of Immunology and Haemato-oncology Experimental Haematology,

St. James's University Hospital, University of Leeds


Dental Lecture Theatre F


Wednesday 6th February 2019


13:00 – 14:00


Prof Ulf Klein will present:


NF-κB Transcription Factors in B-Cell Lymphomagenesis

Professor Klein has been working on the molecular basis of B-cell development and lymphomagenesis throughout his career. Following his PhD at the University of Cologne, he moved to Columbia University where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. In 2017, he joined the University of Leeds, where he continues his work on elucidating the oncogenic mechanisms that cause malignant transformation of B cells. Currently, a main focus of his lab lies on understanding the roles of the individual NF-κB transcription factor subunits in this process.

Wednesday 30 January 2019

"Finding the genes that are important in rheumatoid arthritis post-GWAS"

Stephen Eyre from Manchester is giving a talk at the IGM at 1 pm on Tuesday 5th February, Biomedicine West Wing Lecture Theatre.