Facilitating World Class Arthritis Research

Professor Anne Barton

Professor of Rheumatology, Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics

Professor of Rheumatology, Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics

I joined the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit  in 1998 after being introduced to the field of Genetics of Complex disease when I undertook a laboratory-based research project as part of my MSc in Clinical Rheumatology, in 1997. By this time, I had developed a real enthusiasm for research and subsequently applied for and was awarded a MRC Clinical Training Fellowship. I undertook linkage and association analysis in RA families homologous to those identified in animal models of arthritis. This novel approach led to the identification of a region on chromosome 17q as a potential rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease locus. The results of this work formed the foundation for my successful Wellcome Trust Advanced Fellowship application, which was awarded in May 2003 and extended for one year in May 2006.

Since then, I have continued to be involved in studies to identify the causal genes for rheumatoid arthritis but have developed an independent programme of work, particularly in predicting response to treatment in patients receiving biologic therapies for their arthritic diseases. I have established the Biologics in RA Genetics and Genomics Study Syndicate (BRAGGSS), comprising the rheumatologists at the larger prescribing centres across the UK, and co-ordinate the collection of DNA samples from patients treated with these agents at these centres. The collection is now by far the largest in the world (approximately 4,000 patients with DNA and >1,000 with additional samples, e.g. RNA) and represents a unique resource because of the richness of the phenotypic data available.

I have a strong interest in the genetic presdisposition to psoriatic arthritis, the second most common of the inflammatory arthritic diseases. I lead a UK consortium trying to identify susceptibility genes and I chair the PAGE (Psoriatic Arthritis Genetic European) consortium to establish a European-wide collaboration to take this field of research forward.

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

British Society for Rheumatology

Association of Physicians


BSc (Hons) 2(i) Medical Biochemistry 1988

MBChB 1991

MRCP 1995

MSc Rheumatology 1998

PhD 2001

FRCP 2005


Professor of Rheumatology, Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics.

Lead, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.

Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology at Central Manchester Foundation Trust.

Research Lead for the Inflammatory arthritis in adults research theme of the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit.


Academic advisor to undergraduate medical students.

Project co-ordinator for MSc Rheumatology.

Seminars on MSc Rheumatology course.

OSCE examiner for undergraduate medical students.

Steering Committee of MRes Translational Medicine

Academic Training Lead for Rheumatology

Training Lead for NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal BRU