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Dr Andrew Filer

A collaboration between 13 centres based in the United States and two in the UK are redefining the distribution, organisation and spatial relationships of cells in the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients. 

The group's objective is to build on ground-breaking recent research from the centres, identifying new populations of cells within the joint. The group will define precisely where these cells are located in the joint and how they interact using multicolour immunofluorescence and morphometry.

Dr Andrew Filer, a Reader and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist in the Institute of Inflammation of Ageing, will investigate minimally invasive joint biopsy techniques with partners at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, New York. 

Dr Filer says: “This collaboration has recently discovered completely new types of cell that drive arthritis in the joint. The next step is to understand how different populations of cells talk to each other.”  

The collaboration, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has already led to several high impact publications in Nature and Nature Communications.