Senior Investigator Profile

First NameAnne
Award StatusTerm 1
Current PostProfessor and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist
DepartmentKellgren Centre for Rheumatology
Telephone+44 (0)161 275 1638
InstitutionCentral Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS TrustCentral Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Region NameNorth West
Primary Research FieldRheumatology
Secondary Research FieldRheumatology
BiographyI am the Director of Centre for Musculoskeletal Research and a Research Theme Lead for studies in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) within the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal BRU. Biologic therapy has transformed the care of patients with the most severe and active forms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) intractable to established non-biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy; however, for each biologic therapy, only ~30% patients respond well and for 20%, the treatment fails to control disease. This means that an alternative biologic therapy is administered until one is found that is effective. The process is one of trial and error but, while the disease activity remains uncontrolled, joint damage is progressive and the quality of life of patients is adversely impacted. My work has focussed on exploring predictors of response. I have shown that there is no single gene that will reliably predict who will respond best to which biologic agent (15 papers) but that genes at the HLA locus may have a large enough effect that they could be used in combination with other factors in an algorithm to predict response (Viatte et al. JAMA 2015 313:1645-56); that adherence is an important predictor, with patients who adhere to therapy doing better (Bluett et al, Rheum (Oxford) 2015;54:494-9) and that drug levels could be used as a pharmacodynamic marker to predict future response (Jani et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015. doi: 10.1002/art.39169. [Epub ahead of print]). Nationally, I co-lead for an MRC/Arthritis Research UK jointly funded stratified medicines initiative to identify predictors of treatment response to biological therapies and methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (Maximising therapeutic utility in RA (MATURA)). I am also the Training Lead within the BRU and the Academic Training Lead in Rheumatology for the North West Region.

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