The Department of Rheumatology strives to augment its clinical rheumatology services with research programs into the causation and complications of rheumatic diseases and evaluation of new generations of pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of arthritis. The major focus of the research is towards the immunogenetics, pathogenesis, and epidemiology and treatment of a number of rheumatic diseases including Sjogren’s Syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma and giant cell arteritis. Together these diseases affect a large sector of the population, and lead to chronic pain, disability, reduced quality of life, and in many cases shortened lifespan. The monetary costs are huge with respect to lost earnings, as well as direct health care costs.
The involvement of the Rheumatology Department in the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases Research and the Health Observatory program have enabled the consolidation of Rheumatology research in addition to strategic collaborations with opportunities for the integration of our clinical, scientific and epidemiological research interests.
Rheumatology research at TQEH is classic “bench to bedside”- translating the latest findings in therapeutics to patients in need of effective treatments, and also “bedside to bench”- where symptoms initially reported by well-characterised groups of patients at TQEH have been studied through large surveys, as well as via molecular studies in the wet-labs of the Basil Hetzel Institute, resulting in international publications advancing the understanding of these diseases and their previously unrecognised complications.
Examples of this include our Centre for Inflammatory Disease Research publication (funded by THRF between:
They were first to observe and publish the high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome, a collaborative study.
M Rischmueller MBBS FRACP
S Burnet MBBS FRACP
F Cai MBBS FRACP
CL Hill MBBS MD MSc(Epi) FRACP
SL Whittle MBBS (Hons) MClinEpid FRACP
S Graf MBBS
R Black MBBS
J Tan MBBS
Rheumatology Research Administration Coordinator
S Downie-Doyle BSc(Hons) PhD
S Lester BSc(Hons)
Clinical Trials Coordinators
R Battersby BSc Grad Cert Drug Development
J Mere BNursing, BHSc
S White BNursing
K Adams BSc(Hons), MPhil
J Qi Ng (Bsc)
Clinical Trials Assistant/Administrative Support
M Bubicich BSc(Hons)
J Marrett BBus(Mkt)
K Ridley BECEd, Cert II&III Bus
Rheumatology Clinical Nurses
A Batty BNursing
P Rogers BNursing
1 Postgraduate Student