Arthritis Research Coalition

Research aims / Research topics

The primary aim is 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.

The importance of this research

A recent report assessing rheumatology research excellence, measured by the number of citations per article published between 1996 and 2010, ranked Ireland 1st of the 35 richest countries. Major research outputs have included molecular studies on the pathogenesis of common rheumatic diseases, the discovery and validation of prognostic biomarkers, and clinical studies on novel therapies. These have relied on the recruitment of highly characterized patients populations and by the development of linked biorepositories of blood and synovial tissue.

Despite these successes the research activity has been reliant on a fragmented and poorly funded infrastructure. The development of national rheumatology research networks in many European countries including Britain, Sweden and The Netherlands highlights their value. The establishment of Arthritis Ireland chairs, and the development of a Dublin Centre of Excellence, will form the foundation of national rheumatology research strategy, however, the development of a research nurse network will seek to engage all clinicians, co-ordinate all research activities and ensure that Ireland remains on top.

X-Ray 1 mild RA, diagnosed in 1998, with no damage to finger joints by 2005X-Ray 2 severe rapidly progressive RA, diagnosed in 1999, with severe damage to finger joints by 2005


Coalition lead: Prof Gerry Wilson

Rheumatoid ArthritisProf Doug Veale
Connective Tissues DiseasesDr Grainne Murphy
PaediatricsDr Orla Killeen
SclerodermaDr Bernadette Lynch
GoutProf Geraldine McCarthy

About the Consortium

ARC was established in 2016 by rheumatologists across Ireland to support research studies and clinical trials activities.

Funding to date

This coalition is supported by Arthritis Ireland and the Health Research Board Clinical Research Coordination Ireland (HRB CRCI).

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Recent Academic Papers from ARC leads

Gerry Wilson

Daghestani HN, Jordan JM, Renner JB, Doherty M, Wilson AG, Kraus VB. Serum N-propeptide of collagen IIA (PIIANP) as a marker of radiographic osteoarthritis burden. PloS one. 2017 Dec 29;12(12):e0190251.

Savic S, Mistry A, Wilson AG, Barcenas-Morales G, Doffinger R, Emery P, McGonagle D. Autoimmune-autoinflammatory rheumatoid arthritis overlaps: a rare but potentially important subgroup of diseases. RMD Open. 2017 Nov 1;3(2):e000550.

Chaudhry M, Wilson AG. The role of genetic analysis for predicting outcome of rheumatoid arthritis. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics. 2017 Sep 2;17(9):809-14

Nair N, Wilson AG, Barton A. DNA methylation as a marker of response in rheumatoid arthritis. Pharmacogenomics. 2017 Sep;18(14):1323-32

Smith SL, Plant D, Eyre S, Hyrich K, Morgan AW, Wilson AG, Isaacs JD, Barton A. The predictive value of serum S100A9 and response to etanercept is not confirmed in a large UK rheumatoid arthritis cohort. Rheumatology. 2017 Jun 1;56(6):1019-24


Doug Veale

Coates LC, FitzGerald O, Merola JF, Smolen J, Mens LJ, Bertheussen H, Boehncke WH, Callis Duffin K, Campbell W, Wit M, Gladman D. Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis/Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Consensus‐Based Recommendations and Research Agenda for Use of Composite Measures and Treatment Targets in Psoriatic Arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatology. 2018 Mar 1;70(3):345-55

Guo Y, Walsh AM, Canavan M, Wechalekar MD, Cole S, Yin X, Scott B, Loza M, Orr C, McGarry T, Bombardieri M. Immune checkpoint inhibitor PD-1 pathway is down-regulated in synovium at various stages of rheumatoid arthritis disease progression. PloS One. 2018 Feb 28;13(2):e0192704

Najm A, Orr C, Gallagher L, Biniecka M, Gaigneux E, Le Goff B, Fearon U, Veale DJ. Knee joint synovitis: study of correlations and diagnostic performances of ultrasonography compared with histopathology. RMD Open. 2018 Feb 1;4(1):e000616

Herrick AL, Peytrignet S, Lunt M, Pan X, Hesselstrand R, Mouthon L, Silman AJ, Dinsdale G, Brown E, Czirják L, Distler JH. Patterns and predictors of skin score change in early diffuse systemic sclerosis from the European Scleroderma Observational Study. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2018 Jan 6:annrheumdis-2017

Orr C, Vieira-Sousa E, Boyle DL, Buch MH, Buckley CD, Cañete JD, Catrina AI, Choy EH, Emery P, Fearon U, Filer A. Synovial tissue research: a state-of-the-art review. Nature Reviews Rheumatology. 2017 Aug 1;13(8):463-75


Grainne Murphy

Murphy G, Lisnevskaia L, Isenberg D. Systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune rheumatic diseases: challenges to treatment. The Lancet. 2013 Aug 31;382(9894):809-18

Amaral B, Murphy G, Ioannou Y, Isenberg DA. A comparison of the outcome of adolescent and adult-onset systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology. 2014 Feb 6;53(6):1130-5

Azevedo PC, Murphy G, Isenberg DA. Pathology of systemic lupus erythematosus: the challenges ahead. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 2014 Jan(1134): 1-16

Murphy G, Lisnevskaia L, Isenberg D. Systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune rheumatic diseases: challenges to treatment. The Lancet. 2013 Aug 31;382(9894):809-18

Murphy G, Isenberg D. Effect of gender on clinical presentation in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology. 2013 May 2;52(12):2108-15


Orla Killeen

Condon C, O’Regan D, MacDermott E, Killeen O. Self-management needs of children with JIA in Ireland: a qualitative survey of families. European Journal of Physiotherapy. 2017 Oct 2;19(4):237-42

Condon C, Morgan M, Ward S, MacDermott E, Killeen O. Physical activity levels of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. European Journal of Physiotherapy. 2016 Jan 2;18(1):58-62

Batthish M, Costigan C, Killeen OG. Raynaud’s Phenomenon as a Presenting Feature of Hypothyroidism in an. The Journal of Rheumatology. 2009;36(1):203

Gardner-Medwin JM, Killeen OG, Ryder CA, Bradshaw K, Johnson K. Magnetic resonance imaging identifies features in clinically unaffected knees predicting extension of arthritis in children with monoarthritis. The Journal of Rheumatology. 2006 Nov 1;33(11):2337-43

Killeen OG, Gardner-Medwin JM. In juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is folate supplementation effective against methotrexate toxicity at the expense of methotrexate’s efficacy?. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2006 Jun 1;91(6):537-8


Bernadette Lynch

Lynch BM, Stern EP, Ong V, Harber M, Burns A, Denton CP. UK Scleroderma Study Group (UKSSG) guidelines on the diagnosis and management of scleroderma renal crisis. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. 2016 Oct 14;34(5):106-9

Sobanski V, Giovannelli J, Lynch BM, Schreiber BE, Nihtyanova SI, Harvey J, Handler CE, Denton CP, Coghlan JG. Characteristics and Survival of Anti–U1 RNP Antibody–Positive Patients With Connective Tissue Disease–Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Arthritis & Rheumatology. 2016 Feb 1;68(2):484-93

Rezk T, Henderson SR, Lynch B, Burns A. Scleroderma renal crisis. British Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2013 Sep;74(Sup9):C130-3

Naqvi GA, Cunningham P, Lynch B, Galvin R, Awan N. Fixation of ankle syndesmotic injuries: comparison of tightrope fixation and syndesmotic screw fixation for accuracy of syndesmotic reduction. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012 Dec;40(12):2828-35

Saber TP, Ng CT, Renard G, Lynch BM, Pontifex E, Walsh CA, Grier A, Molloy M, Bresnihan B, FitzGerald O, Fearon U. Remission in psoriatic arthritis: is it possible and how can it be predicted?. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2010 Jun;12(3):R94


Geraldine McCarthy

Gaffo AL, Dalbeth N, Saag KG, Singh JA, Rahn EJ, Mudano AS, Chen YH, Lin CT, Bourke S, Louthrenoo W, Vazquez‐Mellado J. Brief Report: Validation of a Definition of Flare in Patients With Established Gout. Arthritis & Rheumatology. 2018 Mar 1;70(3):462-7

Mahon OR, O’Hanlon S, Cunningham CC, McCarthy GM, Hobbs C, Nicolosi V, Kelly DJ, Dunne A. Orthopaedic implant materials drive M1 macrophage polarization in a spleen tyrosine kinase-and mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent manner. Acta Biomaterialia. 2018 Jan 1;65:426-35

Stack JR, Madigan A, Helbert L, Dunne E, Gardiner EE, Andrews RK, Finan R, Smyth E, Kenny D, McCarthy GM. Soluble glycoprotein VI, a specific marker of platelet activation is increased in the plasma of subjects with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, PLoS One, 2017 Nov 15;12(11)

Conway R, Murphy CL, Madigan A, Kavanagh P, Geraghty L, Redmond N, Helbert L, Carey JJ, Dunne E, Kenny D, McCarthy GM. Increased platelet reactivity as measured by plasma glycoprotein VI in gout. Platelets. 2017 Nov 1:1-6

McCarthy GM, Durcan L. Crystal arthritis: Crystallizing our ideas about gout and osteoarthritis, Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 2017 13(12), 698–699

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