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Dr Faye Cooles

Research into type 1 interferons in early Rheumatoid Arthritis


Towards the stratification of early Rheumatoid Arthritis patients for better clinical outcomes

It is well established that early tight, effective disease control is essential to reduce the long term morbidity associated with RA.  We have identified an increase in type 1 interferon signalling activity  (interferon gene signature, IGS) in drug naïve early rheumatoid arthrtits patients (eRA). This signature has a negative impact on early (6 month) clinical outcomes. We have since validated this in a separate multipcentre cohort and verified the involvement of type 1 interferons in generating this signature.

We anticipate therefore that screening the IGS in newly diagnosed RA patients may provide a tool to stratify patients into either therapies that target type 1 interferon signalling, or towards more intensive clinical observation and escalation of therapies. This will hopefully overally provide better long term disease control and better patient outcomes.

I have been a NIHR trainee at, AFP, ACF and ACL level. I was also funded by the BRC for the first year of my PhD. It has therefore been an essential part of allowing me to continue persuing my interest

 in clinical academia.

The BRC has also been essential in providing the infrastructure for much of my work –  such as funding the research component of the Freeman Hospital early arthritis clinic and the Newcastle University flow cytometry unit to name just a couple.

My research has continued to be funded by a mixture of charity and government funding. I am currently applying for more funding to continue along my academic career journey.