Dr Paola de Pablo MD, MPH, PhD

Image of Paola de Pablo

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology

Contact details

Address
Rheumatology Research Group
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing (IIA)
The University of Birmingham
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Birmingham, B15 2WB
United Kingdom

After completing Specialist Training in Rheumatology in 2001, Paola de Pablo pursued a Masters Degree in Public Health at Harvard University, with a focus on Clinical Effectiveness. She obtained a Pan-American Fellowship from the Fogarty International Center-National Institutes of Health (NIH)/Conacyt and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Arthritis Foundation (USA) to undertake training in clinical research methods and epidemiology at the Department of Rheumatology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. After completing her postdoctoral fellowship she was appointed an Assistant Professor in Medicine at the Tufts University Medical School, Tufts Medical Center, where she worked until she moved to the UK to join the Rheumatology Research Group at the University of Birmingham in 2008.

Qualifications

  • PhD Medicine, University of Birmingham, UK 2013
  • Specialist Certificate in Rheumatology, Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom 2012
  • Master of Public Health, Harvard University 2003
  • Member of the American College of Rheumatology 2001
  • Rheumatology Certificate of Completion of Training & Board Certification 2001
  • MD Medicine 1996

Biography

After completing Specialist Training in Rheumatology, Paola de Pablo pursued a Masters Degree in Public Health at Harvard University, with a focus on Clinical Effectiveness. She obtained a Pan-American Fellowship from the Fogarty International Center-National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Conacyt, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Arthritis Foundation (USA) to get further training in epidemiology at the Department of Rheumatology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. After completing her postdoctoral fellowship, she was appointed an Assistant Professor in Medicine at the Tufts University Medical School, New England Medical Center in 2005. She relocated to the United Kingdom in 2008 and was appointed a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, obtaining her Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom Specialist Certificate in Rheumatology in 2012, followed by a PhD degree in Medicine from the University of Birmingham in 2013. She has recently been awarded a prestigious five year National Institute for Health Research fellowship to investigate novel biomarkers and causal pathways in the development of RA as well as tools to assess disease and response to therapy.

Teaching

Teaching Programmes

  • MBChB - Rheumatology Lecture to 4rd year Medical Students, College of Medical & Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Rheumatology to 4th year Medical School, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Rheumatology to 4th year Medical Students, weekly sessions in clinic, Department of Rheumatology, University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  • Rheumatology Lecture to 3rd year Dental Students,College of Medical & Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK

Postgraduate supervision

Dr de Pablo is interested in supervising masters & doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Epidemiology of the rheumatic diseases
  • Comorbidities of the autoimmune chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases including periodontal disease, accelerated atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and bone loss

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Paola on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.

Research

RESEARCH THEMES

Epidemiology of the Rheumatic Diseases, Biomarkers and Outcomes Research, Clinical Trials; Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Comorbidities of the Autoimmune Chronic Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases, including Periodontal Disease, Accelerated Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular Disease, and Bone Loss

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

Dr de Pablo’s clinical research is in the epidemiology and outcomes of rheumatic diseases, with a focus on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus. Particular interests include the modifiable risk factors, predisposing conditions, as well as the comorbidities of RA and the systemic impact of the burden of chronic inflammation.

Previous work includes a meta-analysis of observational studies and randomized controlled trials showing that there is a critical period during which anti-rheumatic therapy should be initiated, a therapeutic window of opportunity early in the course of RA, associated with sustained benefit on disease progression and structural damage.

Previous epidemiologic investigations on novel and traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease in RA showed that individuals with RA have higher inflammatory markers associated with cardiovascular disease and lower antioxidant levels.

Our group also showed in a large epidemiologic study that systemic inflammation has an impact on bone loss.

In recent work, our group has studied associations between periodontal disease, a common chronic inflammatory disease, and RA and lupus. We have reported a distinct antibody reactivity against both citrullinated and uncitrullinated peptides in individuals with periodontal disease, which may predispose to RA. We are currently conducting a clinical trial on the effect of periodontal therapy on outcomes of RA (OPERA trial).

Other activities

Current clinical activity

Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology, Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Publications

Fisher BA, Cartwright AJ, Quirke AM, de Pablo P, Romaguera D, Panico S, Mattiello A, Gavrila D, Navarro C, Sacerdote C, Vineis P, Tumino R, Lappin DF, Apazidou D, Culshaw S, Potempa J, Michaud DS, Riboli E and Venables PJ (2015) Smoking, Porphyromonas gingivalis and the immune response to citrullinated autoantigens before the clinical onset of rheumatoid arthritis in a Southern European nested case-control study. BMC Musculoskelet Disorders 16(1):331

de Pablo P, Dietrich T, Chapple I, Milward M, Buckley CD and Venables PJ (2014) Response to: ‘The autoantibody repertoire in periodontitis: a role in the induction of autoimmunity to citrullinated proteins in rheumatoid arthritis? Antibodies against uncitrullinated peptides seem to occur prior to the antibodies to the corresponding citrullinated peptides’ by Brink et al. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases 73(7):e47

Abhishek A, de Pablo P, Cader MZ, Buckley CD, Raza K and Filer A (2014) Diagnostic outcomes associated with ankle synovitis in early inflammatory arthritis: a cohort study. Clin Exp Rheumatol 32(4):533-8

de Pablo P, Dietrich T, Chapple IL, Milward M, Chowdhury M, Charles PJ, Buckley CD and Venables PJ (2014) The autoantibody repertoire in periodontitis: a role in the induction of autoimmunity to citrullinated proteins in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 73(3):580-6

de Pablo P, Cooper MS and Buckley CD (2012) Association between bone mineral density and C-reactive protein in a large population-based sample. Arthritis Rheum 64(8):2624-31

Filer A, de Pablo P, Allen G, Nightingale P, Jordan A, Jobanputra P, Bowman S, Buckley CD and Raza K (2011) Utility of ultrasound joint counts in the prediction of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with very early synovitis. Ann Rheum Dis 70(3):500-7

Neumann G, de Pablo P, Finckh A,  Chibnik LB, Wolfe F and Duryea J (2011) Patient Repositioning Reproducibility of Joint Space Width Measurements on Hand Radiographs. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 63(2):203-7

Wood AM, de Pablo P, Buckley CD, Ahmad A and Stockley RA (2011) Smoke exposure as a determinant of auto-antibody titre in AATD and COPD. Eur Respir J 37(1):32-8

de Pablo P, Chapple IL, Buckley CD and Dietrich T (2009) Periodontitis in Systemic Rheumatic Diseases. Nature Rev Rheumatol 5(4):218-24

de Pablo P, Dietrich T and McAlindon TE (2008) Association of Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the U.S. Population. J Rheumatol 35(1):70-6