Rheumatology at Cambridge has a history of major discoveries. Foremost among these is the breakthrough discovery of monoclonal antibodies and the development of the first humanised monoclonal antibodies. These extraordinary advances resulted in the development of a new category of treatments, transformng the lives of millions of patients with inflammatory arthritis.
Our Division has a strong focus on understanding and treating human bone and joint diseases. The Bone Research group collaborates with the Engineering department on state-of-the-art methods to diagnose osteoporosis and osteoarthritis with 3D imaging. Their novel methods have been used to identify focal bone defects that lead to hip fracture, and to determine the beneficial effects of various new drugs and exercise regimens on bone health. With researchers from Bristol, they study the genetics of excessively high bone density, and have discovered a family from Cambridge with mutations that disrupt the binding of an important bone protein called sclerostin. These mutations cause the family members to have some of the highest bone density measurements ever recorded.
Using 3D imaging the team have mapped the effects of clinical blockade of the same sclerostin protein in 24 women with low bone density, showing that the drug increased vertebral bone density by almost a quarter within one year. Our division offers a bone histomorphology service and at the time of writing, more than 20 clinical trials are being conducted by the Rheumatology Research Unit ranging from phase IIa to IV.
Our scientists are based in the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, the Molecular Immunity Unit embedded within the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and we Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Versus Arthritis Chair in Rheumatology
The McKinney lab uses a custom spotted oligo microarray platform to investigate gene expression signatures in autoimmune diseases, ANCA-associated systemic vasculitis and SLE.
Professor of Clinical Autoimmunity
Clinical evaluation of newer immunotherapeutics in vasculitis, lupus and immune-mediated renal disease. Co-ordination of EUVAS and multi-centre randomised controlled trials.
Reader in Metabolic Bone Disease
Research in the bone group focuses on osteoporotic fragility fractures and osteoarthritis by examining bone structure, shape and biology in health and disease.