I qualified in Medicine from Queen's University Belfast in 1988 and gained my MRCP in 1991. My clinical training in medicine and rheumatology was in Northern Ireland and I completed my MD Thesis on the pathogenesis of systemic vasculitis in 1995. From 1996-1998 I was the Geoff Carr Lupus Fellow at the University of Toronto ( Profs M Urowtiz and D Gladman). I moved to Manchester in 1998 initially as an NHS consultant but later transferred to the University in 2003. I was appointed Professor of Rheumatology in August 2010 and an NIHR Senior Investigator in April 2013.
I am Professor of Rheumatology and an NIHR Senior Investigator at the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Institute of Inflammation and Repair.
My clinical work is as Lead Clinician at The Kellgren Centre for Rheumatology, Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals Trust. I am also Medical Director of the NIHR Manchester Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility and Centre Academic Lead for the NIHR Translational Research Partnership in Joint and Related Inflammatory Diseases.
I am the Director of the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit and the research theme lead for Connective Tissue Diseases.
My major research focus is on the association between inflammatory rheumatic diseases and premature atherosclerosis / coronary heart disease. In particular, my focus is on systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. I have been successful developing collaborations with a number of investigators from across the University including in Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (Dr Y Alexander) and Renal Research (Prof P Brenchley). Through my membership of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics and the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group, I also participate in a number of national and international multicentre studies that are seeking to refine our understanding of SLE, including a study funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research on Metabolic Syndrome in SLE.
I am Co-PI on the Norfolk Arthritis Registry (NOAR), Cardiovascular Sub-study and also supervise 2 current MRC Clinical Pharmacology Training Fellows (Dr John Reynolds and Dr Sarah Skeoch).
I am also committed to contributing to and participating in important collaborative studies and in the past few years I have been involved in the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Registry Control Consortium. The studies arising from these collaborations have resulted in important advances in our understanding of the genetic basis of several common disease (WTCCC) as well as our understanding of the safety and long-term efficacy of biologic agents used in RA (BSRBR).
I am Research Lead for the Connective Tissue Disease research theme of the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit.