Research - The Arthritis Group
The research interests of the Arthritis Group focus on the regulation of inflammation by glucocorticoids. Common and serious diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are characterised by the effects on undesired inflammation. Glucocorticoids have broad-spectrum effects on immune-inflammatory activation and are widely used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, but their use is complicated by significant toxicity owing to non-anti-inflammatory effects. It is our hypothesis that a greater understanding of the actions of glucocorticoids will lead to the development of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of inflammatory disease.
The Arthritis Group is the leading investigator of the contribution to rheumatic diseases of the cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). This proinflammatory cytokine modulates glucocorticoid sensitivity. Most recently we have been investigating the signal transduction pathways operative in the regulation of cell activation and glucocorticoid interactions by MIF.
The Arthritis Group is also interested in the contribution of annexin I (lipocortin 1) to the regulation of the inflammatory response. Our lab is now the leading investigator of the role of annexin I in arthritis in the world. Our work includes the first description of annexin I expression in human RA, and the first reports of its role in the control of inflammation in animal models of RA.
More recently we have been exploring additional novel glucocorticoids-regulated molecules including MKP1 and GILZ, both of which we have been first to report in arthritis.
This group’s work has a tight focus on disease mechanisms relevant to human pathology. Work includes clinico-pathological correlations using human samples from RA and SLE clinics at MMC run by A/Prof Morand, animal models of disease including novel gene knockout mice, and in vitro work on signal transduction pathways.
- Glucocorticoid-induced molecules in the regulation of inflammation
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Macrophage migration inhibitory factor
- Annexin 1
- Signal transduction
- Human synovial cells
- Leukocyte trafficking in inflammatory disease