Professor Paul Emery

Musculoskeletal Diseases Theme Lead

Professor Francesco Del Galdo

Musculoskeletal Medicine Deputy Lead


Improving treatment and monitoring for complications using a targeted approach

There are over 200 Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions which affect the joints, bones and muscles, and include some autoimmune diseases. Patients with MSK conditions live with the effects for a greater part of their lives than any other long-term illness. No single treatment for MSK conditions achieves a satisfactory outcome for all patients. There are huge patient and cost benefit gains to improving therapy using a targeted approach.

MSK diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma are devastating chronic diseases. If not treated properly can cause severe joint damage, reduce life expectancy and result in poor general health. Patient care is complicated by the variation in individual patients’ response to treatment and adverse reactions are common.

IVDs to detect protein or genetic biomarkers will support delivery of personalised medicine and improve monitoring of disease progression. 

We have a large translational MSK research programme with extensive biobanks and intensely phenotyped rheumatoid arthritis and other disease cohorts including populations at risk. Samples and data from these studies support the NIHR Leeds MIC programmes of research and enable evaluation of candidate musculoskeletal disease biomarkers.