Does epigenetic ageing contribute to RA pathogenesis?

Objectives of the Project

Age is a major risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), yet we understand little of the role ageing processes play in RA pathogenesis. Why this matters is that if ageing processes are a driver for RA, then improved understanding of the mechanisms involved may reveal innovative approaches to prevention or early treatment of this disease. We hypothesise that environmental factors and genetic predisposition can cause premature ageing leading to an aged-epigenome signature, driving immunesenescence and RA pathogenesis.

Facts and Figures

Project lead
Prof J Lord
University of Birmingham
2018, Duration 3 years
FOREUM research grant: € 599,881

Meet the Team

Prof J Lord
University of Birmingham
Prof K Raza
University of Birmingham
Dr A Pratt
University of Newcastle
Prof A Catrina
Karolinska Institutet
Prof A van der Helm-van Mil
UMC Leiden

Patient Voice

We have discussed the proposal with a patient group in Birmingham, they thought the idea novel and worthwhile. We gained their input to the lay summary. We will have patient representatives at each site to support the writing of our patient information sheets and to help communicate the findings of the project.
There are no obvious risks of the project to the patient as it primarily involves the taking of a blood sample. Technical risk is minimal as the assays involved are already carried out in our laboratories.