Major award for Keele research group

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Posted on 18 April 2013

Professor William Farrell, Dr Derek Mattey, Dr Jon Packham, Dr Peter Dawes and Dr John Glossop have been awarded £402,141 by the Haywood Rheumatism Research and Development Foundation for a bench-to-bedside research project titled "Epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis".

The grant represents a major long-term investment in research in the Research Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine at Keele University by the local charity based at the Haywood Hospital in Burslem. The three-year project will build on exciting preliminary genome-wide DNA methylation data based on the analysis of approximately 450,000 gene-specific candidate sites in more than 21,000 genes in three different cell populations that impact on rheumatoid arthritis (RA).   The research will analyse and validate the methylation of these sites/genes in a larger independent cohort of RA patients. The team will then conduct a prospective study investigating methotrexate therapy and DNA methylation in RA.

The findings from these studies will increase our understanding of this disease and perhaps lead to improvement in long term clinical management strategies.   Keele staff in the research includes Professor Farrell, Dr Mattey and Dr Glossop, together with consultant rheumatologists, Dr Dawes and Dr Packham, based at the Haywood Hospital.