Dr. Candice Lowe

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Candice Lowe, MD, is a Rheumatology Newman Fellow current undertaking an MD by thesis. Dr lowe has research interests in needle arthroscopy, early arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, prognostic markers, and B-cell targeted therapies.

Francis Young

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Database analyst.

Francis is a key member of the research team responsible for collecting, uploading and managing the clinical databases essential for many of the investigator initatied studies.

Louise Moore

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Candidate Advanced Nurse Practitioner based at The Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disease Unit, Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Harolds Cross.

Louise, former Clinical Nurse Specialist provides direct care to patients with complex arthritis related problems. She has completed an MSc in Rheumatology Reproductive
Medicine and founded the innovative Maternal Medicine Rheumatology clinic with colleagues at Holles St, National Maternity Hospital.

Gene Browner

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Research Assistant based at the Clinical Research Centre.

Gene provides essential support for the arthroscopy research programme and the specialised regional arthritis knee clinic. She provides valuable support to the clinical fellows, research nurses and the patients who attend for arthroscopy, follow-up and clinical assessment.

Edel Meaney

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Research Nurse based at the Clinical Research Centre.

Edel has been intrinsic in the development of the arthroscopy research programme over the last 10 years. She provides valuable support to the clinical fellows, research nurses and the patients who attend for arthroscopy, follow-up and clinical assessment.

Hazel Bergin

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Research Nurse based at the Clinical Research Centre.

Hazel provides essential support for the arthroscopy research programme and the innovative RA clinical registry. She provides valuable support to the clinical fellows, research nurses and the patients who attend for arthroscopy, follow-up and clinical
assessment.

Dr. Trudy McGarry

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Trudy obtained her BSc in Biomedical Health and Disease from University College Dublin in 2011. In the same year, Trudy was awarded a Molecular Medicine Ireland PhD scholarship for their unique cross-institutional Clinical and Translation Research Scholars Programme (CTRSP). During her PhD, she completed a four month Industry internship with Quintiles Transnational as part of the Global Regulatory Affairs department, providing regulatory ‘Roadmaps’ for large Pharma, advising them on the most efficient strategy to file a new drug application in Europe, South America and Asia. Trudy’s PhD research, entitled ‘Synovial inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis is regulated by Toll-like Receptor 2-activated signalling pathways’, was carried out in St. Vincent’s University Hospital and was completed in November 2015. Since this time, she has worked as a Postdoctoral researcher within the Molecular Rheumatology Group and Center for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases. At present, Trudy is the UCD Novartis Newman Postdoctoral Fellow and her research focuses on identifying the metabolic and cellular mechanisms that mediate inflammation in the joint. Her work is carried out in close collaboration with Industry partners including Janssen Pharmaceutics and Pfizer. She has received numerous travel grants to present her research within Europe and was awarded best oral presentation at both the MMI and New Horizons in Rheumatology national meetings. Trudy is the current Irish Country Lisiason Officer for EMEUNET (Emerging EULAR Network) and her role is to promote education and collaborative work among young clinicians and researchers in rheumatology and to liaise with other national representatives.

ISR 2018

Huge congratulations to Dr Sarah Wade PhD for being awarded Young Investigator of the Year 2018, Dr Charlene Foley MD for winning best scientific presentation and Dr Candice Lowe MD for best poster.

Prof Eamonn Molloy

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Prof Eamonn Molloy

Prof Eamonn Molloy is a Founder and Director of The Centre. Prof Molloy is a Consultant Rheumatologist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital and an honorary Professor at University College Dublin. His special interest is in the field of Vasculitis, especially Giant Cell Arteritis and Large Vessel Vasculitis, potentially serious systemic rheumatic diseases that cause inflammation of the circulation. Prof. Molloy provides a state-of-the-art clinical service for these patients, in addition to patients with inflammatory, degenerative and crystal-induced arthritis. He is the principal investigator on a number of active clinical trials and has led a number of translational and interventional innovative studies aimed at delivering novel therapies in these complex conditions

Dr Anne-Barbara-Mongey

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Dr Anne-Barbara-Mongey is a Member of the Board of The Centre, a Consultant Rheumatologist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital and a Lecturer at University College Dublin. Her special interest is in the field of arthritis connective tissue diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, potentially serious systemic rheumatic diseases. Dr. Mongey provides a state-of-the-art clinical service for these patients. In addition, as Lecturer in UCD she is deeply involved in teaching, organising and delivering the medical curriculum.

Prof Doug Veale

Prof. Doug Veale

Douglas J. Veale is Director of Translational Research of the DAMC, Professor of Medicine and Consultant Rheumatologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital and a Principal Investigator at The Conway Institute for Biomedical and Biomolecular Research, University College Dublin (UCD). He is a Fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (1997) and the Royal College, London (1999). Professor Veale graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1984 and obtained his MD by thesis from UCD in 1992. Professor Veale has established an international reputation in translational research with a research focus on angiogenesis, early arthritis, biopharmaceutical therapy, biomarkers and scleroderma. He has oversight on a research team of senior scientists, post-doctoral scientists, clinical research fellows and PhD students funded by peer-reviewed grants from The American Federation for Ageing Research, the European Union FP6 programme and Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), The Health Research Board of Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions and several industry partnership programmes.

Dr. Kieran Murray

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Kieran Murray graduated from UCD Medical School in 2010. He is a fourth year specialist registrar and has previously worked in Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and University College Hospital Galway. His main research interest is improving outcomes in inflammatory arthritis, through analysing biomarkers, infection risk and management in pregnancy.

Invited Speaker Prof. Józef Dulak

Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute was delighted to welcome Prof. Józef Dulak from the Department of Medical Biotechnology in Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland to Dublin on 4th April. Prof. Dulak gave a talk entitled “Heme oxygenase-1 and microRNAs in heart and skeletal muscle repair and regeneration”. The talk documented Prof. Dulak’s lab’s success in elucidating the role of heme oxygenase-1 in the repair and regeneration of heart muscle following injury.

Prof Dulak wuth Dr Monika Biniecka and Prof Ursula Fearon

EULAR Course on Immunology

The biennial EULAR Course on Immunology took place in Lisbon, Portugal this year from 6th-7th April. This course is designed to bring together young rheumatologists, dermatologists and doctors who have a keen interest in immunology. Rheumatological diseases are very complex and require a integrative approach to ensure that basic scientific findings are translated into the most effective and tolerable targeted therapies. The course was founded to ensure rheumatology clinicians and researchers have an understanding of the immunological background of autoimmune-mediated rheumatic diseases.

This interactive and compact course was composed of specialist lectures on current immunology topics and their relevance to inflammatory diseases, a research workshop and an immunology “speed dating” session which allowed participants to learn about eachother’s areas of interest.

We were delighted that Prof. Ursula Fearon was invited to speak at the course while Dr Trudy McGarry and Megan Hanlon were also in attendance.

To find out more about the course, click here.

Pre-Clinical Proof of Concept Studies with Industry Partners

The Centre for Arthritis and Rheumatic diseases (SVUH, UCD) and Molecular Rheumatology (TCD) 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 studies of novel biotherapeutics and small molecular weight candidates.

Rheumatism in Pregnancy

The Rheumatology Reproductive Health Clinic

Established in 2013 between Rheumatology OLH/St. Vincent’s Hospital and Maternal Medicine at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles St. has reported outcomes of the first four years of service development and research. The clinic is a multidisciplinary body led by dedicated nurses, doctors and allied health professionals that aim to improve the standard of care for women with rheumatic diseases who are planning a family. The clinic aims to identify patient’s needs and to ensure a multidisciplinary approach to optimise good disease control at each stage of pregnancy.

A total of 98 women attended the clinic from January 2013-2016 with the majority suffering from rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. There were 24 women on biologic DMARD therapy at time of conception and 38% continued these throughout the pregnancy. There were a total of 76 births. Following a patient survey, 90% of the women involved were “very satisfied” with the standard of care and physical and emotional support they received in the clinic. The data indicates towards the success of the clinic and the need for a multidisciplinary approach at all stages of pregnancy in women with rheumatic diseases.

The results from this study are to be presented at the 2018 EULAR conference in Amsterdam.

Dr. Richard Conway

Dr. Richard Conway

Richard Conway, MB PhD, is a rheumatologist and epidemiologist. He has research interests in rheumatoid arthritis, early arthritis, gout, medication-related adverse events, and in vasculitis, in particular giant cell arteritis. Richard has a particular methodological focus in the performance of systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.

Dr. Monika Biniecka

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Monika was awarded a PhD in Endocrinology from Jagiellonian University in 2005. Since 2007 she is a postdoctoral scientist in the Centre for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases, Dublin Academic Medical Centre in St Vincent’s University. She is also a visiting research fellow in the Department of Molecular Rheumatology, Trinity College Dublin. Her research projects were founded by Health Research Board Ireland and MSD Newman Fellowship. Monika has established a strong scientific track record in the field of inflammatory arthritis, specifically in the area of hypoxia, oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction and angiogenesis. She has developed a number of in-vitro and in-vivo models using primary cell culture and human synovial tissue from patients with inflammatory arthritis. Outputs from her projects have been published in high impact journals and widely presented at international EULAR and ACR conferences.

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 such as 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 with ACPA appears to be highly specific to RA, indeed these antibodies may be present before the onset of clinical arthritis, in some cases several years before, suggesting that autoimmunity precedes inflammation. Autoantibodies against citrullinated proteins are among the strongest risk factors for bone destruction. This implies a direct link between autoantibody response and structural bone damage in RA. In this study we propose to improve the early diagnosis and prognosis of RA patients by examining the role of ACPA positivity on immune cell function and synovial invasiveness. Specifically, we are stratifying pre-RA and RA patients using ACPA positivity, erosive status and immunopathology of synovial T and B cells in high-risk, poor outcome or good prognosis groups. Phenotype and functional characterisation of T cells and B cells isolated from the site of inflammation in ACPA+ vs ACPA- patients, and their reciprocal interactions and subsequent effect on synovial invasive mechanisms are being examined. Finally, a functional genomics and systems biology approach for disease onset, progression and response is being utilised. Combining clinical status, immunopathology, immune function and transcriptomics analysis from ACPA+ vs ACPA- patients will provide valuable insight into the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with RA at an earlier stage of disease than is currently possible and this will allow selection of treatment for specific patients based on a sound, scientific rationale.