Research in this division covers the basic mechanisms underlying inflammatory arthritis and metabolic bone disease, together with development and validation of novel biomarkers which can be used to predict clinical outcomes.

Prof Gaston and Dr Goodall study the immunologic basis of inflammatory arthritis, and the factors which influence differentiation of pro-inflammatory T lymphocytes, particularly the role of dendritic cells in integrating signals from pathogens and cellular stress to alter cytokine production.

Dr Hall is investigating biomarkers in connective tissue diseases, including lymphocyte phenotype, novel measures of hand ischaemia, and assessment of the micro-circulation using haemoglobin video microscopy.

Dr. Busch’s group studies the biochemical mechanisms that link genetic variants of antigen-presenting MHC molecules to autoimmune pathogenesis, focusing on the characterisation of allelic differences in MHC protein turnover, their mechanistic basis and immunological consequences.

Prof Compston’s laboratory combines clinical and laboratory studies in osteoporosis. Recent work includes bone histomorphometric study of age-related changes, the relationship between regional skeletal blood flow and osteoblast activity in postmenopausal osteoporosis or renal bone disease, and study of the incidence, skeletal location and underlying risk factors for fragility fracture in the obese population.

Dr Poole’s group applies novel imaging techniques to investigate human bone diseases.  With the Engineering for Clinical Practice team of Graham Treece and Andrew Gee, they have studied focal thinning as a cause of femoral neck fracture and have discovered that bone building drugs have targeted effects at key sites within the osteoporotic femur.

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