The University of Western Australia - Rheumatology Group
Since the start of the UWA supported inaugural Chair of Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Medicine, the following lines of Rheumatology research have been established at UWA. These are progressing well and some details and highlights are listed below:
WA Rheumatic Disease Epidemiology Register (WARDER)
WARDER is a big-data project of population-based routinely-collected administrative health data over 35 years for patients with rheumatic diseases with individual health data tracked over time in four WA Health registries namely Hospital Morbidity Data System for all admissions, WA Cancer Registry for cancer development , WA Mortality Registry and the Emergency Department Data Collection for all ED visits. These de-identified data are then linked through the Western Australian Data Linkage System with data of half a million individuals (half with rheumatic disease patients and half are age and gender matched controls) stored on the secure UWA research server.
Other Rheumatology Researchers/Activities in WA
Associate Professor Helen Keen (at FSH/RPH) is currently investigating:
1. The continued role for ultrasound examination in the diagnosis and management of various joint diseases including gout and osteoarthrosis
2. The efficacy of an early referral clinic for patients with Giant cell arteritis where rapid ultrasound examination of the temporal arteries is used to guide management. If successful, this will obviate the need for tissue biopsies and help reduce the occurrence of vision loss as the most devastating complication of this condition.
3. A clinical trial of the use of Krill oil to reduce flare frequency in gout patients
4. Establishing a local branch of the Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative where bio samples (serum, DNA and tissue samples) collected from consenting patients with a range of rheumatic diseases can be stored for later access by researchers for specific projects (genetic, molecular, translational).
Clinical Professor Charles Inderjeeth (at SCGH):
Prof Inderjeeth is involved in clinical trials of new drugs for various rheumatic conditions through Linear Clinical Research which is a state-of-the-art, clinical trials facility operating out of QEII Medical Centre to make innovative therapies available to the local community.
1. Has main research interest in the clinical field of bone health and is involved in clinical and more basic studies into various aspects of both osteoarthrosis and osteoporosis
2. Is involved in investigations into the effects of aging on cognitive and musculoskeletal health
Dr Graeme Carroll (at FSH) is focussed on researching:
1. The role of the protein mannose binding lectin (MBL) in Rheumatoid Arthritis, especially the effect that MBL deficiency has in the disease course and complications (infections/lung disease) for patients with 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.
Assoc Prof R Will (at Colin Bayliss Research and Teaching Unit, Victoria Park):
1. Is researching the efficacy of various (mechanisms of) drug delivery on pain modulation for patients with osteoarthrosis
2. Participates in drug trials for several rheumatic conditions