Molecular Rheumatology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, TCD.

Post Summary

The Dept of Molecular Rheumatology is seeking to appoint a Post-Doctoral Fellow and two PhD studentships to investigative the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammatory arthritis both in adults and children.


Arthritis is a leading cause of joint deformity and disability that affects up to 15% of the population, 2% suffer from inflammatory (IA) forms such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Inflammatory arthritis also occurs in children resulting in joint damage and disability early in life, with our recent research identifying the largest cohort in the world of children with down syndrome associated inflammatory arthritis. It is also significantly related with co-morbidities including atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, thus has huge implications for the patients and also for our healthcare system.   Professor Fearon’s research is a bench-to-beside translational approach, focusing on understanding the underlying mechanisms that drive disease pathogenesis; her team specifically examine components of joint inflammation at a cellular and molecular level to dissect the signaling and gene pathways that are disturbed in patients who have inflammatory arthritis and rheumatic diseases. The main focus of the group is to further understand the mechanisms involved in the inflammatory responses at disease onset, in disease progression and in responders vs non-responders. Specifically we examine immune cell responses, their reciprocal interactions with stromal cells, with an aim to identify the underlying molecular and metabolic mechanisms that drive disease. The group have developed a number of unique models using human tissue/cells from patients with inflammatory arthritis which more closely reflect the in vivo joint environment. Using these ‘pre clinical proof of concept models’ the group also engage with industry partners to test their potential pipeline drugs. Development of more targeted and effective therapies for the treatment of IA and other inflammatory disease states will have considerable benefit for the individual in terms of quality of life and for society as a whole in terms of economic and social benefits.

Currently we are seeking to appoint a post-doctoral fellow and two PhD studentships.

Project 1- Post-Doctoral fellow- 2-years. To compare the effect of specific small molecular weight inhibitors on synovial tissue derived immune cell function in Psoriatic Arthritis.

Salary Scale to maximum level 7.

Project  2-PhD studentship- Distinct pathogenic mechanisms in Downs Arthritis and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

Stipend 18K/year plus fees

Project 3-PhD studentship- To investigate how transcriptional and metabolic pathway interactions drive stromal and immune cell responses in autoimmune diseases.

Stipend 18K/year plus fees

Deadline; 14th July 2019

For informal enquiries, please  contact Professor Ursula Fearon -Email: fearonu@tcd.ie

Formal applications with CV to be sent to wadesi@tcd.ie


Charlene Foley PhD May 1st 2019


Congrats to Dr Charlene Foley on successful PhD viva defence, which focused on Inflammatory Arthritis in children with Down Syndrome


Newman 30th Anniversary Dinner


Prof Ursula Fearon discusses the the success of  the Newman Fellowship programme for Rheumatology training and research.


EWRR, Lyon 2019

Congratulations to Megan Hanlon and Dr Sarah Wade, who won second and third prizes for their research at EWRR, Lyon 2019.


Prof Ursula Fearon and Megan Hanlon discuss dysregulated synovial blood vessels and macrophages at EWRR 2019.



Rochelle Dowding – Prize Winner


Congratulations to Rochelle Dowding, 3rd year TCD med student, prize winner for her research on pathways in early inflammatory arthritis. Rochelle completed her research in the Prof Fearon lab. Well done Rochelle!