Prof David Felson


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Dr. Felson is a part time Professor of Medicine and Public Health and is also a Professor of Medicine at Boston University. In Manchester, he directs the Research in Osteoarthritis in Manchester (ROAM) group which is testing new treatments for osteoarthritis. His research interests include prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis and outcome measures for rheumatic diseases.

Dr. Felson is the Research Lead for the Evaluation of new therapies and devices research theme of the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit.


Dr. Felson  has done most of his research work in the States with funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  This has included creating and directing the Framingham Heart Study Osteoarthritis substudy, the Beijing Osteoarthritis Study and the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. He is on the Steering Committee of the Osteoarthritis Initiative. These are all large cohort studies in Osteoarthritis with the goal of describing the disease's natural history and especially with a focus on risk factors. His group was the first to find a causal relation of knee osteoarthritsi with obesity and with nutritional factors and he was the first to identify bone marrow lesions on MRI and their relation to pain, to malalignment and to disease progression.

In Manchester, working the multidiscipinary ROAM team, Dr. Felson has developed a programme to test new treatments for osteoarthritis. (see ROAM for more specifics). He is also the research theme leader for Evaluation of New Interventions and Devices in the new NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal BRU.

Dr. Felson has also led efforts to standardise outcome measurement in rheumatoid arthritis, creating for example, the ACR20 (the ACR definition of improvement) and more recently the ACR Hybrid and ACR/EULAR definition of remission.

Dr. Felson has trained many of the active clinical researchers in rheumatology in the U.S. His former trainees serve as faculty at Boston University, Harvard, Tufts, Mayo Clinic, Yale, U. of Maryland and UC Davis.

Dr. Felson has received the Howley Prize from the Arthritis Foundation (U.S.) for contributions to Arthritis Research and was the inaugural recipient of the Clinical Research Award from the American College of Rheumatology. He has also recieved the OARSI Lifetime Achievement Award 2012  due to his devotion to increasing the understanding of osteoarthritis.


Dr. Felson has an AB degree (cum laude) from Harvard College, an MD from Johns Hopkins Medical School and an MPH from Boston University. He completed his clinical training at Case Western University Hospitals (medicine) and Boston University (rheumatology)

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