Professor Christopher Buckley DPhil FRCP

Image of Chris Buckley

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Kennedy Professor of Translational Rheumatology
Director of the Birmingham NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility

Contact details

Address
Rheumatology Research Group
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Birmingham, B15 2WB

Chris Buckley is the Kennedy Professor of Translational Rheumatology at the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford. He is  Director of Clinical Research at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in Oxford and Director of NIHR Infrastructure for Birmingham Heath Partners. He leads the Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP) which aims to deliver “stratified pathology” in a range of immune mediated inflammatory diseases in order to choose the right disease indication for the right drug. This approach complements stratified medicine where the aim is to choose the right drug for the right patient. His laboratory explores the role of fibroblasts in driving disease progression and tissue tropism in Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases.

Chris is part of the Modality Partnership, a single GP organisation that operates across 35 different locations as the first national GP super-partnership in the UK. A super-partnership is an organisation that combines the advantages of small GP practices working closely in local communities, with the medical and technological opportunities of a larger scale operation. Modality is dedicated to improving healthcare provision and extending the opportunity for patients in primary care to take part in experimental medicine studies by operating at a larger scale. https://modalitypartnership.nhs.uk/about-us

Chris has made major contributions to scientific administration through his roles with the Arthritis Research UK (Chair of the Fellowship Committee as well as EULAR (Scientific Programme organizing committee).   He is closely involved in the development of clinical academics and he is a strong and eloquent advocate for clinician scientists in several fora.

Qualifications

  • FRCP Medicine London 2006
  • DPhil Medicine Oxford 1996
  • MB BS University of London 1990
  • BA Biochemistry (1st Class) Oxford 1985

Teaching

My commitment and enthusiasm for training academic clinicians is evidenced by presentations at the Royal College of Physicians careers in academic medicine conference (2012) and as guest presenter at the ARUK Annual Fellows Meeting (2007 and 2016). Through the Birmingham Institute of Translational Medicine, I am involved in establishing training schemes to support and develop clinical and non-clinical trainees prior to their full application for fellowships. I mentored and developed basic scientists undertaking translational PhDs, clinicians undertaking PhDs and supervised and sponsored scientists and clinicians holding personal fellowships. As director of the CRF, I oversee the training of health professionals, including nurses and clinical fellows. Internationally, I have led on preceptorships for clinicians visiting the NHS to learn how to set up and deliver early arthritis services

Committee member: Representing Academic development on the West Midlands Health Education England Training Programme. I have an extensive track record of training/mentoring translational research physicians in my role as academic lead in the organization, delivery and assessment of competencies for specialist registrars in Rheumatology in the West Midlands Deanery

Committee member: Integrated Academic Training Programme in Birmingham. I lead an NIHR integrated Academic Rheumatology programme, comprising 6 foundation year academic trainees, 3 academic clinical fellows and 2 clinical lecturers.

Chairman of ARUK Fellowship Committee (2005-2009)

Medical Research Society Committee Member responsible for organizing the annual Medical Research Society meeting with the Academy of Medical Sciences (2004-10)

Postgraduate supervision

A characteristic feature of chronic inflammatory reactions is their persistence and predilection for certain sites. Chris Buckley’s group investigates the role that tissue resident stromal cells (fibroblasts) play in determining both the switch to persistence as well as the site at which inflammation occurs. The group’s work has allowed them to propose that a stromal area post code, predominantly defined by fibroblasts, exists within tissues. Their hypothesis predicts that components of this stromal area post code become disordered during inflammation, leading to the accumulation of lymphocytes in structures that resemble lymphoid tissues. They suggest that stromal cells in general and fibroblasts in particular offer a new family of organ-specific targets to treat chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Professor Buckley is interested in supervising doctoral research on the role of stromal cells in inflammation.

Other activities

University leadership

2008- Present Director of the Rheumatology Research Group which comprises over 50 scientists, clinicians and academic staff who focus specifically on translational research in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome. Their total active grant income is over £10M. 2016-Present Deputy Director of the Institute for Inflammation and Ageing

2016- Present Director of NIHR Infrastructure for Birmingham Health Partners; a partnership between the University and NHS partners. In this role I was responsible for helping to co-ordinate bids to the NIHR that have led to over £40M to NHS partners in 2016-17

2016-Present Theme lead in Arthritis for the Birmingham BRC in Inflammation

National leadership

2003-2008 Chairman of UK Adhesion Society Group

2010-Present Birmingham lead on the NIHR Translational Research Partnership/Collaboration

(TRP/C) in Joint and related Inflammatory diseases. I was selected to represent the TRP at the UK

Trade and Investment showcase of innovation in the NHS during the 2012 Olympics; part of the UK

Government Office for Life Sciences.

 2014-2017 BHF Programmes and Chairs committee

 2015-2017 MRC EMINENT grant committee

Involvement in Equality and Diversity (2014-15) our work on self-management and education in rheumatoid arthritis particularly in ethnic minorities has been commended in a National Audit Officereport. Arthrits-Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP). I direct the A-TAP, an initiative funded through the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research which links the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham with five NHS Trusts along the M40 corridor to deliver signal seeking, pathway focussed early pahse clinical trials in a range of Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases.

The A-TAP will be underpinned through NIHR infrastructure and will work to support the NIHR's vision to provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.  http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2016-12-07-m40-alliance-forms-accelerate-arthritis-therapy

International Leadership

Member of external advisory boards for academic institutes and government organizations the Netherlands in USA and Canada

2000-2004 Council Member of Human Cell Differentiation Markers (Formally HLDA) Responsible for

2004 CD workshop stromal cell classification

2014-2017 EULAR FOREUM http://www.eular.org Executive Committees.

Scientific Committee Member EULAR Congress (2009-2014) In 2012 led the organization of the annual European EULAR rheumatology meeting with over 15,000 delegates.

2015-2020 Editor in Chief of Arthritis Research and Therapy (4th most cited Rheumatology Journal http://arthritis-research.biomedcentral.com

2017. Contributed to the EULAR guidelines on the management of RA [Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 76):960.PMID: 28264816]

Prizes for leadership in my field

Eijkman Lecture and Medal (2001) University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Linacre Medal and Lecture (2002) Royal College of Physicians London, UK.

Michael Mason Prize (2003) British Society for Rheumatology

Shoenlein Lecture and Medal (2016) University of Erlangen

Herberden Oration (2017) British Society for Rheumatology 

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Buckley, C 2019, 'Molecular portraits of early rheumatoid arthritis identify clinical and treatment response phenotypes: towards a new disease taxonomy and personalised medicine' Cell Reports.

Accelerating Medicines Partnership Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (AMP RA/SLE) Consortium & Buckley, C 2019, 'Defining inflammatory cell states in rheumatoid arthritis joint synovial tissues by integrating single-cell transcriptomics and mass cytometry' Nature Immunology, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 928-942. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-019-0378-1

Buckley, C & Raza, K 2019, 'Haematological abnormalities in new onset rheumatoid arthritis and risk of common infections: a population-based study' Rheumatology (Oxford, England).

Nayar, S, Dias De Campos, J, Smith, C, Iannizzotto, V, Gardner, D, Mourcin, F, Roulois, D, Turner, J, Sylvestre, M, Asam, S, Glaysher, B, Bowman, SJ, Fearon, DT, Filer, A, Tarte, K, Luther, SA, Fisher, B, Buckley, C, Coles, MC & Barone, F 2019, 'Immunofibroblasts are pivotal drivers of tertiary lymphoid structure formation and local pathology' Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905301116

Croft, AP, Campos, J, Jansen, K, Turner, JD, Marshall, J, Attar, M, Savary, L, Wehmeyer, C, Naylor, AJ, Kemble, S, Begum, J, Dürholz, K, Perlman, H, Barone, F, Mcgettrick, HM, Fearon, DT, Wei, K, Raychaudhuri, S, Korsunsky, I, Brenner, MB, Coles, M, Sansom, SN, Filer, A & Buckley, CD 2019, 'Distinct fibroblast subsets drive inflammation and damage in arthritis' Nature, vol. 570, no. 7760, pp. 246–251 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1263-7

Sun, D, Stopka-Farooqui, U, Barry, S, Askoy, E, Parsonage, G, Vossenkamper, A, Capasso, M, Wan, X, Norris, S, Marshall, J, Clear, A, Gribben, J, MacDonald, TT, Buckley, C, Korbonits, M & Haworth, O 2019, 'Aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein maintains germinal center B cells through suppression of BCL6 degradation' Cell Reports, vol. 27, no. 5, e4, pp. 1464-1471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.014

Aungier, SR, Cartwright, AJ, Schwenzer, A, Marshall, JL, Dyson, MR, Slavny, P, Parthiban, K, Karatt-Vellatt, A, Sahbudin, I, Culbert, E, Hextall, P, Clanchy, FI, Williams, R, Marsden, BD, Raza, K, Filer, A, Buckley, CD, McCafferty, J & Midwood, KS 2018, 'Targeting early changes in the synovial microenvironment: a new class of immunomodulatory therapy?' Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-214294

Simons, G, Stack, RJ, Stoffer-Marx, M, Englbrecht, M, Mosor, E, Buckley, C, Kumar, K, Hansson, M, Hueber, A, Stamm, TA, Falahee, M & Raza, K 2018, 'Perceptions of first-degree relatives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis about lifestyle modifications and pharmacological interventions to reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis development: a qualitative interview study' BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, vol. 2, 31. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41927-018-0038-3

Pearson, M, Bik, M, Ospelt, C, Naylor, A, Wehmeyer, C, Jones, S, Buckley, C, Gay, S, Filer, A & Lord, J 2018, 'Endogenous Galectin-9 suppresses apoptosis in human rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts' Scientific Reports, vol. 8, 12887. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31173-3

Hardy, R, Fenton, C, Croft, A, Naylor, A, Begum, R, Desanti, G, Buckley, C, Lavery, G, Cooper, MS & Raza, K 2018, '11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 regulates synovitis, joint destruction, and systemic bone loss in chronic polyarthritis' Journal of Autoimmunity, vol. 92, pp. 104-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2018.05.010, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2018.05.010

Bustamante, MF, Oliveira, PG, Garcia-Carbonell, R, Croft, A, Smith, JM, Serrano, RL, Sanchez-Lopez, E, Liu, X, Kisseleva, T, Hay, N, Buckley, C, Firestein, GS, Murphy, AN, Miyamoto, S & Guma, M 2018, 'Hexokinase 2 as a novel selective metabolic target for rheumatoid arthritis' Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-213103

Chapter

Turner, JD, Naylor, AJ, Buckley, C, Filer, A & Tak, P-P 2018, Fibroblasts and Osteoblasts in Inflammation and Bone Damage. in BMJ Owens & MA Lakins (eds), Stromal Immunology. vol. 1060, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Springer, pp. 37-54. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78127-3_3

Abstract

Hardy, R, Fenton, C, Doig, C, Fareed, S, Naylor, A, Morrell, AP, Addison, O, Wehmeyer, C, Buckley, C, Lavery, G, Raza, K & Cooper, MS 2019, '11β-HSD1 Plays a critical role in trabecular bone loss associated with systemic glucocorticoid therapy' Arthritis Research & Therapy.

Review article

Dakin, SG, Coles, MC, Sherlock, J, Powrie, F, Carr, AJ & Buckley, C 2018, 'Pathogenic stromal cells as therapeutic targets in joint inflammation' Nature Reviews Rheumatology, vol. 14, pp. 714-726. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41584-018-0112-7

Buckley, C & McGettrick, H 2018, 'Leukocyte trafficking between stromal compartments: lessons from rheumatoid arthritis' Nature Reviews Rheumatology, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 476-487. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41584-018-0042-4

View all publications in research portal

Expertise

Factors involved in the triggering and perpetuation of chronic inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid, reactive and juvenile arthritis; targets for effective future therapy; related systemic connective tissue diseases, particularly lupus.

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Expertise

Rheumatology