The Centre for Experimental Medicine & Rheumatology (EMR), which opened in May 2007, comprises an integrated, multidisciplinary research team of Clinicians, Scientists, Biostatisticians and Bioinformaticians led by Professor Costantino Pitzalis. EMR is part of the William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI) and works closely with other Centres and Institutes on the Charterhouse Square campus.
EMR is focused on the development of innovative therapeutic and diagnostic approaches to inflammatory and degenerative arthropathies, including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. The emphasis is on translational research by combining strengths and expertise of basic and clinical scientists working together. EMR works alongside the Barts Arthritis Centre, which is integrated in the Musculoskeletal Clinical Academic Unit at Barts Health NHS Trust. The Barts Arthritis Centre, also directed by Professor Pitzalis, includes Rheumatology, Orthopaedics and Sport and Exercise Medicine, and offers unique translational opportunities via an extensive clinical studies portfolio.
The main objective of EMR research is to gain a better understanding of disease pathogenesis, which can be used to develop novel therapeutics, or maximise therapeutic utility of existing therapies, for several autoimmune conditions including Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s Syndrome.
The Centre runs a strong basic science programme in the field of immunology & inflammation, which is linked to a clinical translational programme in the following 4 research areas: (1) Breach of Tolerance and Autoimmunity, (2) Development and resolution of inflammation, (3) Mechanisms of Tissue Damage and Repair and (4) Developing new therapies through basic research (e.g., tissue-specific targeting) and clinical trials.
EMR is the leading centre worldwide for biopsy-driven stratified-medicine randomised clinical trials that span the disease course from early to late RA and are synchronised for drug exposure. Samples and data are held in the HTA registered EMR Biobank and are made available to other researchers: EMR Biobank – HTRC/HTA approved
The overall research objectives of this internationally acknowledged group are: