Professor Caroline Gordon MA, MD, FRCP

Professor Caroline Gordon

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor of Rheumatology

Contact details

Address
Rheumatology Research Group (East Wing)
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Caroline Gordon is Professor of Rheumatology and a Consultant Rheumatologist.

She is involved in research and teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate level at the University of Birmingham. Her clinical and research interests include the inflammatory rheumatic diseases especially systemic lupus erythematosus and anti-phospholipid syndrome, and pregnancy and the rheumatic diseases. She undertakes most of her clinical work as a consultant rheumatologist in Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

She has one of the largest established cohorts of lupus patients in the UK with over 700 patients recruited since 1989 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and City Hospital, Birmingham (Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust). The cohort has provided the foundation for long term outcome studies in lupus and provides a patient base for future clinical trials. She has a well-established clinic for pregnancy and rheumatic diseases as well at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, (Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust).

The main focus of her research work has been to improve disease assessment, treatment and outcome of lupus. She has published over 150 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews, book chapters and edited books predominantly in the fields of lupus and pregnancy and rheumatic diseases. She has received major grants from Arthritis Research UK, Lupus UK and MRC. She works closely with the charities Lupus UK and Lupus Foundation of America on their educational and research programmes.

Qualifications

  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians 2000 
  • MD from University of London 1994 (Research on Cytokines in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
  • ECFMG from USA 1989
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians 1984
  • MA University of Cambridge 1982
  • MB BS London Hospital Medical College1981 (Distinction in Pathology)
  • BA University of Cambridge (First Class degree) Part 2: Pathology: Immunology and Virology

Biography

Caroline Gordon undertook pre-clinical medical studies at King’s College Cambridge and graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1978. She studied clinical medicine at the London Hospital Medical College and graduated from the University of London in 1981. After training in internal medicine in Brighton and Bristol from 1982 to 1984, she was awarded a Harkness Fellowship by the Commonwealth Fund of New York and spent 2 years in her research fellowship in immunology and arthritis at the University of California, San Francisco. She returned to the UK having been appointed a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham in 1989 and she set up the Birmingham Lupus Clinics. She was awarded an MD from the University of London for her research on cytokines in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 1994. She was appointed Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Rheumatology in 1996, was promoted to Reader in 2003 and Professor of Rheumatology in 2007.

In 2002 she was awarded the Edmund L. Dubois, MD, Memorial Award for research in to lupus by the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation. Given her experience in undertaking an epidemiological survey of lupus using multiple methods of case ascertainment she has been a consultant to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) SLE registries in USA since their inception in 2004. The Birmingham lupus clinics were awarded the title of LUPUS UK Centre of Excellence in 2005, the first lupus centre in the UK to receive this award and it has been reconfirmed at bi-annual review since. In 2009 she was appointed advisory expert to the ESF Research Networking Programme: The Identification of Novel Genes and Biomarkers for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (BIOLUPUS). In 2011 she was invited as a visiting Professor to the South African Rheumatology Association and in 2013 she was invited to give the prestigious Heberden Round and received the Heberden Medal at the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) Annual Meeting.

Much of her research work has focussed on the epidemiology, aetiopathogenesis and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, disease assessment methodology for outcome studies and clinical trials, clinical and laboratory markers of disease flare, the genetic susceptibility to SLE and the role of ethnicity in predicting disease susceptibility and long-term outcome. She has been Co-Chair of the EULAR SLE Task Force since 2005 and she led the EULAR SLE Task Force on points to consider for conducting clinical trials. She was an active member of the BSR Guidelines Working Group on Prescribing Drugs in Pregnancy and Breast-feeding and has led the BSR Guidelines Working Group on the Management of SLE.

Teaching

Teaching Programmes

  • Medicine and Surgery MBChB
    Until 2013 she was lead for the musculo-skeletal curriculum group responsible for organising the teaching and assessment of musculo-skeletal medicine in the 3rd, 4th & 5th years and vertical integration.

    Caroline is currently clinical co-ordinator for the muscles, joints and movement module in year 1 and teaches musculoskeletal assessment and management in year 3 and year 4.
  • B Med Sci
    Contributes lectures and examination questions
  • MSc Rheumatology
    Contributes lectures and examination questions

Postgraduate supervision

  • Academic FY1 and FY2 doctors
    Educational and clinical supervisor; also lectures regularly on the design of clinical trials and research studies on the academic FY2 course
  • Academic Clinical Fellow and Clinical Research Fellows
    Educational supervisor (M Res, MD, PhD programmes)
  • Specialist Registrars
    Lectures to those training in Rheumatology, Immunology, General Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and A&E in the Midlands; and supervises rheumatology registrars in clinical and research work at City hospital, Birmingham
  • MSc in Rheumatology
    Local lecturer and external lecturer at University of London (Guys’ Hospital)

Research

RESEARCH THEMES

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Pregnancy and the Rheumatic Diseases, Methodology for Clinical Trials in Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

Her research programme focuses on systemic lupus erythematosus but she has also contributed to research in to inflammatory arthritis, vasculitis, Sjogren’s syndrome and anti-phospholipid syndrome. Caroline Gordon is a member of the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG), the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC), Co-Chair of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Task Force for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and has been a member of several American College of Rheumatology and Lupus Foundation of America committees for lupus research. She has been the lupus lead on the Arthritic Research UK systemic autoimmune disease clinical study group and is currently the deputy for lupus on this committee.

Much of her work has focused on disease assessment for clinical trials and outcome studies, particularly the development of the BILAG disease activity index and the epidemiology of lupus. She has also been involved in the development of the SLICC/ACR damage index and in the assessment of quality of life in lupus patients using the SF-36 and the Lupus QoL surveys. Caroline Gordon has a longstanding interest in improving the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and has been involved in organising two investigator led trials: IV cyclophosphamide versus oral cyclophosphamide in lupus nephritis (EULAR sponsored) and cyclosporine versus azathioprine in severe SLE (arc funded). More recently she has been involved in trials of atacicept and epratuzumab for lupus. She has led the initiative producing EULAR points to consider for conducting clinical trials in SLE and advises the pharmaceutical industry on organising and analysing clinical trials and she is a consultant to the Centre for Disease Control on epidemiological studies of lupus in the USA. She is interested in both clinical and laboratory markers of disease flare, the genetic susceptibility to lupus, predictors of response to treatment, the importance of ethnicity in predicting disease susceptibility and long-term outcome, and the health of children born to mothers with lupus.

Other activities

American College of Rheumatology (ACR)

  • 1997-1998 - Member of the ACR committee for the assessment of neuro-psychiatric disease in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • 1998-2003 - Lupus Study Group member
  • 2002-2003 - Member of the ACR committee for the development of SLE response criteria for clinical trials
  • 2002-2005 - Co-chair/chair ACR Annual Meeting SLE Abstract selection committee
  • 2003-2006 - Member of the ACR Renal Lupus Response Criteria Workgroup

Arthritis Research UK (Arthritis Research Campaign)

  • 2007-2010 - Lead for lupus research in the Autoimmune Rheumatic Disorders Clinical Study Group

British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG)

  • 1991-current - Member
  • 2003-current - Deputy Chair

British Society for Rheumatology

  • 1996-2002 - Convenor (chair) for the BSR Lupus Special Interest Group
  • 1996-2002 - Convenor (chair) for the BSR Lupus Special Interest Group
  • 1998-2001 - Research and Training Committee
  • 2000-2005 - BSR/British Renal Ass. Lupus Nephritis Study Group
  • 2011-2015 – Member of the BSR Guidelines Working Group on Prescribing Drugs in Pregnancy and Breast-feeding.
  • 2011-2016 – Convenor of the BSR Guidelines Working Group on Management of SLE.

European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)

  • 2003-2006 - Scientific Committee member
  • 2005-2006 - Chair of the Abstract Selection Committee
  • 2005-2008 - Chair for SLE Task Force on “Recommendations for clinical end-points and conducting trials in SLE”
  • 2005-current - Co-Chair for the SLE Task Force on Recommendations for management of SLE” and for “the management of neuropsychiatric SLE” and for “the management of lupus nephritis”

Lupus Nephritis Terminology Advisory Group

  • 2006-2008 - Co-Chair for UK and European Consensus groups (first author)

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

  • 2007-2012 - Lead for the Birmingham and Black Country (BBC) Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN) Immunology and Inflammation Speciality Group
  • 2008-2012 - Chair of the National Comprehensive Clinical Research Network (CCRN) Immunology and Inflammation Specialty Group
  • 2009-2011 - Member of the UKCRN Experimental Medicine Steering Group

Royal College of Physicians

  • 2008-2009 - Chair for the SLE group revising Map of Medicine Clinical Pathways

Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics

  • 1992-1996 - Member
  • 1997-2005 - Member of executive committee (agenda organiser)
  • 2006-current - Member

Publications

Flint J, Panchal S, Hurrell A, van de Venne M, Gayed M, Schreiber K, Arthanari S, Cunningham J, Flanders L, Moore L, Crossley A, Purushotham N, Desai A, Piper M, Nisar M, Khamashta M, Williams D, Gordon C and Giles I; BSR and BHPR Standard, Guidelines and Audit Working Group (2016) BSR and BHPR guideline on prescribing drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding—Part II: analgesics and other drugs used in rheumatology practice. Rheumatology (Oxford) [Epub ahead of print]

Flint J, Panchal S, Hurrell A, van de Venne M, Gayed M, Schreiber K, Arthanari S, Cunningham J, Flanders L, Moore L, Crossley A, Purushotham N, Desai A, Piper M, Nisar M, Khamashta M, Williams D, Gordon C and Giles I; BSR and BHPR Standard, Guidelines and Audit Working Group (2016) BSR and BHPR guideline on prescribing drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding—Part I: standard and biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and corticosteroids. Rheumatology (Oxford) [Epub ahead of print]

Isenberg D, Gordon C, Licu D, Copt S, Rossi C and Wofsy D (2015) Efficacy and safety of atacicept for prevention of flares in patients with moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): 52-week data (APRIL-SLE randomised trial). Annals Rheumatic Diseases 74(11):2006-15

Yee CS, Su L, Toescu V, Hickman R, Situnayake D, Bowman S, Farewell V and Gordon C (2015) Birmingham SLE cohort: outcomes of a large inception cohort followed for up to 21 years. Rheumatology (Oxford) 54:836-43

Wallace DJ, Kalunian K, Petri MA, Strand V, Houssiau FA, Pike M, Kilgallen B, Bongardt S, Barry A, Kelley L and Gordon C (2014) Efficacy and safety of epratuzumab in patients with moderate/severe active systemic lupus erythematosus: results from EMBLEM, a phase IIb, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study. Annals Rheumatic Diseases 73(1):183-90

Yee CS, Cresswell L, Farewell V, Rahman A, The LS, Griffiths B, Bruce IN, Ahmad Y, Prabu A, Akil M, McHugh N, D’Cruz D, Khamashta MA, Isenberg DA and Gordon C (2010) Numerical scoring for the BILAG-2004 index. Rheumatology (Oxford) 49(9):1665-9

Griffiths B, Emery P, Ryan V, Isenberg D, Akil M, Thompson , Maddison P, Griffiths ID, Lorenzi A, Miles S, Situnayake D, Teh L-S, Plant M, Hallengren C, Nived O, Sturfelt G, Chakravarty K, Tait T and Gordon C (2010) The BILAG multi-centre open randomized controlled trial comparing ciclosporin versus azathioprine in patients with severe SLE: ciclosporin is safe and has similar corticosteroid-sparing properties. Rheumatology (Oxford) 49(4):723-32

Yee CS, Farewell V, Isenberg DA, Griffiths B, Teh LS, Bruce IN, Ahmad Y, Rahman A, Prabu A, Akil M, McHugh N, Edwards C, D'Cruz D, Khamashta MA, Maddison P and Gordon C (2009) The BILAG-2004 index is sensitive to change for assessment of SLE disease activity. Rheumatology (Oxford) 48(6):691-5