Arthritis Research Coalition Biobank

Our group are involved with the Arthritis Research Coalition Biobank, the primary aim of which is to recruit patients with common rheumatic diseases and obtain biosamples that will underpin clinical research. A secondary aim is to increase national involvement in clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents.

Down Syndrome-Related Arthritis

This study is investigating the Immunology and Histopathology of Inflammatory Arthritis in Children with Down syndrome. Approximately 110 babies with Down syndrome are born in Ireland each year, making Ireland’s birth rate of children with Down syndrome the highest in Europe. A variety of medical conditions and immunological abnormalities are associated with Down syndrome. Immune… Read More

Personalised Medicine Strategy to Predict Drug Choice, Improve Efficacy and Outcome

Inflammatory Arthritis is a common autoimmune disease which causes joint tissue destruction, work instability due to disability and ultimately premature mortality. In addition, IA reduces mobility, increases social isolation and is significantly associated with obesity and diabetes. Targeted biotherapeutics have a major effect on the outcome of IA, however responses may be sub-optimal or associated… Read More

Pre-Clinical Proof of Concept Studies with Industry Partners

Molecular Rheumatology (TCD) and The Centre for Arthritis and Rheumatic diseases (SVUH, UCD) have developed a number of industry partnerships around drug discovery and translational research. These studies utilize the ex vivo whole tissue synovial explant model, sorted synovial cells and multiplex protein assays, transcriptomics and a systems biology approach to establish pre-clinical drug development… Read More

Molecular Mechanisms of Synovial Invasion and Articular Cartilage Damage

Angiogenesis is an early event in arthritis, dependent on endothelial cell (EC) mitosis, migration, and organisation of primitive angiotubes.  In arthritis, the new vessel network and leukocyte extravasation transforms synovial tissue (ST) into an aggressive tumor-like ‘pannus’ mediating cartilage destruction. We have previously shown that distinct vascular morphologic phenotypes exist between different arthropathies, effects that… Read More

DC and T cell Characterisation and Function at Site of Inflammation

Dendritic cells are a heterogeneous group of antigen presenting cells that link the innate and adaptive immune system. Due to their unique role in controlling naïve T cell responses, DC and subsequent T cell responses are hypothesised to be involved in the pathogenesis of RA and PsA. Indeed, the strongest evidence to suggest that DC… Read More

 MicroRNA and  Psoriatic Arthritis     

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterised by synovial inflammation and progressive destruction of articular cartilage and bone, with significant impact on quality of life. While advances in therapies have dramatically improved prognosis, a significant proportion of patients do not respond, have sub-optimally responses or experience adverse events. Hence, a greater understanding of… Read More

Autoantibodies and Disease Pathogenesis

RA disability stems from structural damage of cartilage and bone due to erosions in synovial joints, if not treated early and aggressively. Treatment guidelines are based on clinical factors and rheumatoid factor (RF), and more recently presence of the autoantibodies anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) which may provide improved prediction of outcome in RA. The association… Read More

Hypoxia, Metabolism and Inflammatory Arthritis

Mitochondrial respiration is the main source of metabolic energy in cells by generating adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) in an oxygen-dependent manner. Environmental cues such as the availability of nutrients and oxygen are sensed by mTOR, AMPK and HIF-1α together with inflammatory cell activation signals to determine the outcome of cell activation and differentiation. We have previously demonstrated… Read More