Research in LIRMM

LIRMM is dedicated to improving diagnosis, therapy, intervention and outcome across the spectrum of rheumatic and musculoskeletal medicine. It boasts a dynamic portfolio of research delivering wide-ranging clinical, translational and basic research across each of our Sections.

Over the past 5 years, we have published over 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals, leveraged over £36M in external funding and supervised significant numbers of post graduate research students.

The NIHR funded Leeds  Biomedical ResearchCentre (Leeds BRC) a partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) ensures rapid translation of research outcomes to benefit people with inflammatory and degenerative arthritides and other chronic disabling conditions, such as vasculitis and the connective tissue disorders.

In the inflammatory arthritides, detailed clinical phenotyping and early intensive therapy are used to suppress inflammation and induce clinical remission to achieve relevant patient outcomes, e.g. prevention of structural damage and remaining in employment.

Leeds continues to be central in developing novel outcome measures and advancing understanding of the use of biologic therapies in all types of inflammatory arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis and the spondyloarthropathies, this includes proof of concept work exploring the potential of remission induction with TNF-inhibitors, abatacept and rituximab and phase IV, international, multi-centre RCTs.

Parallel programmes (genetic, genomic, epigenetic, immunological and biomarker discovery) continue to identify key pathogenic processes that have the potential to be translated into the clinic in diagnostic or therapeutic stratification algorithms or as novel drug targets.

In the degenerative arthritides we developed an expanding programme of work with allied health professionals around osteoarthritis and common musculoskeletal disorders, such as shoulder and foot pain, based on clinical needs and robust health economic analyses.

Musculoskeletal imaging continues to be a strength, with both MRI and ultrasonography adding value to all areas of our research including diagnosis, monitoring, pathogenesis and therapeutic studies across a wide range of inflammatory and degenerative diseases.

The tissue regeneration and repair group was the first to prospectively purify mesenchymal stem cells from human bone marrow, a technology now adopted by industry on both R&D and industrial scales.

Our translational strategy extends to rare autoinflammatory diseases, connective tissue disorders, especially scleroderma and vasculitis and inflammatory skin diseases with research taking place across the whole translational pathway.

Inflammatory Arthritis

Clinical & Translational Rheumatology

The Section of Musculoskeletal Disease is the largest Section in the Division, comprising internationally renowned expertise particularly in inflammatory arthritis, biologic therapies and imaging. Its core aim is to understand disease processes and the role of targeted therapies better, towards improving diagnosis, preventing disease and disability and improving quality of life.

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Musculoskeletal Medicine & Imaging

Experimental Rheumatology

This theme involves wide expertise in the area of immune disease classification, auto-inflammation, immunogenetics and genetic epidemiology in order to systematically evaluate the early phases of human inflammatory disease.

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Clinical Biomechanics & Physical Medicine

The section of clinical biomechanics and physical medicine has a broad remit, conducting studies into the biomechanical drivers and consequences of a range of musculoskeletal disease and evaluating primarily non-pharmacological interventions.

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 The Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery is one of the busiest units in the UK performing over 9,000 trauma and elective procedures per year. In addition to the busy clinical workload, it has an ever-expanding research portfolio, including the study of bone and cartilage regeneration utilizing biological based therapies, the immuno-inflammatory response to trauma, total joint replacement, bioengineering, biomechanics, and clinical outcomes following reconstruction of fractures.  

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Rehabilitation Medicine

The Academic Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (ADRM) is one of the premier Rehabilitation Medicine research departments in the U.K. as demonstrated by its academic record of innovation, high quality science, research grant income and developing early career clinical researchers.

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Leeds NIHR  Biomedical Research Centre (Leeds BRC)

The NIHR Leeds  Biomedical Research Centre (Leeds BRC) is an NIHR funded centre of excellence for translational musculoskeletal research.

As a partnership collaboration between the Leeds Teaching Hoospitals NHS Trust and the University of Leeds, the Leeds BRC strives to deliver excellence in patient based research.

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