Current research activities

The University of Western Australia - Rheumatology Group

Professor Johannes (Hans) Nossent is currently collaborating with the Busselton Health Study to investigate:

  • The association between rheumatoid factor and cardiovascular disease events in patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The association between hyperuricemia and cardiovascular disease events in patients diagnosed with gout compared to those participants not reporting gout.

Hans is involved in a number projects related to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) including: investigating the association of von Willebrand Factor (vWF) activity levels and the presence of acute phase proteins in SLE; and, establishing the Perth Lupus Registry, which will eventually feed up into the Australian Lupus Registry in early-mid 2016.

Hans is also the Chairman of the West Australian Rheumatic Disease Epidemiological Resource (WARDER) established in 2015. The WARDER will enable researchers to use WA Health Data Linkage Records to determine the burden of rheumatic disease conditions (defined by ICD9/10 codes) in Western Australia.

Other research activities in WA

Associate Professor Helen Keen is investigating the prevalence of subclinical synovitis and uric acid deposition in a hyperuricemic cohort of the Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase II.

Clinical Professor Charles Inderjeeth has a number of research projects which include: 1) investigating the clinical potential for viscosupplementation to reduce pain and delay time to surgery in patients with osteoarthritis in the knee; 2) examining the potential application of Fracture Risk Calculators (FRAX™ and GARVAN™) without the use of bone mineral density testing; 3) establishing a Fracture Liaison Service at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital; and, 4) investigating the potential protective association of cognitive impairment therapies (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors) on bone health.

Dr Graeme Carroll is focussed on the four following research areas: 1) risk factors for serious infections in rheumatic diseases and in particular the contribution of mannose binding lectin (MBL) or MBL deficiency to serious infection in rheumatoid arthritis; 2) causal factors and treatments for the arthritis that complicates Haemochromatosis and the implications for management of this arthropathy and possibly one common form of Osteoarthritis; 3) patterns of joint disease (phenotypes) in Osteoarthritis and the potential mechanisms whereby joint laxity or hypermobility due to defects in collagen and other connective tissue macromolecules may contribute to some of these phenotypes; and, 4) the potential for some patients with DISH, a skeletal disease of the spine, to respond to TNF inhibitors.

Research Report 2014 - 2016

To view the report on the education and research achievements of the Professorial Chair for Rheumatology, please click here