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Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Inflammation

Herein, we coalesce several (bio)medical specialties that share ‘inflammatory mechanisms’ in their etiopathogenesis. In 2014, we have united our basic and translational inflammation research in the cross-Institute Centre for inflammation and Therapeutic Innovation (CiTI), which focuses on four inter-disciplinary areas: i) genomic and stratified medicine; ii) vascular and cardiac inflammation, and cell trafficking; iii) target identification and therapeutic exploitation and iv) reparative and regenerative therapeutics. It has enabled strategic partnerships with companies like UCB (5 PhD studentships; 4 collaborative projects) and ONO.

We have developed, with Oxford, the Versus Arthritis Centre of Excellence in the Pathogenesis of Osteo-Arthritis (Dell’Accio). We hold two Versus Arthritis UK chairs (Rot, Pitzalis), an Experimental Early Arthritis Treatment Centre, several large awards in musculoskeletal, hepatology, multiple sclerosis, gastrointestinal, dermatology and nephrology research. In addition, our inflammation strategy is to work together with bioengineering, nanomedicine and organ-on-a-chip technologies to maximise innovation and cross-fertilisation within the University and other areas, including Dentistry and Trauma as well as diabetes.

Stratified Medicine in Arthritis. At the Barts Arthritis Centre, Pitzalis and his team have developed a Doppler based approach to guided biopsy. This has been used to understand synovial pathobiology and the role of precision biologics in rheumatoid arthritis. This platform has created a large biobank of synovial tissue enabling multiple partnerships with pharma to refine drug development and the patients who will benefit from individualised treatments.

Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease Research. In 2018, we created the Barts Liver Centre where Foster and Kennedy research made major advances in hepatitis C and Alazawi focuses on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. A Wellcome Trust collaborative award with King Faisal University in Pakistan has just been activated.

Trauma and Critical Care. In 2012, we established the Centre for Trauma Sciences (Brohi) making major clinical impact on trauma-associated coagulopathy and understanding of platelet function in trauma (Warner), which changed NICE guidelines on trauma (see Impact). Current focus is on the immunological changes in the early response to trauma (Brohi, Pennington).

Dermatology. Our research into monogenic dermatological disorders, has linked inflammation in the skin, heart, oesophagus (Kelsell), X-linked ichthyosis (O’Toole) and atopic eczema (O’Shaughnessy). We have established a Bangladeshi cohort to enable us to investigate the genetic basis of skin disease in our community. The Barts Centre for Squamous Cancer (see focused theme: cancer)