University of Bath

Rheumatology is not just about the joints

In his inaugural lecture, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology Neil McHugh will talk about his research into chronic rheumatic disease.

11 Oct 20175.15pm
11 Oct 20176.15pm
Molecules, or ‘autoantigens’, that form the target of a misdirected autoimmune response
Autoantigens form the target of a misdirected autoimmune response

Chronic rheumatic disease covers a spectrum of multisystem disorders, isn’t confined to the musculoskeletal system and is often accompanied by the hallmarks of misbehaving immunity. While the human immune system normally defends us from infectious agents by producing antibodies, a misbehaving immune system generates antibodies or autoantibodies.

In his Inaugural Lecture as Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology, Neil McHugh will talk about characterising the molecules, or ‘autoantigens’, that form the target of a misdirected autoimmune response in conditions such as lupus, scleroderma and idiopathic myositis. He’ll share one of his most intriguing findings: that autoantibodies aren’t just specific to individual disorders, but to certain patterns seen in lung disease, for example, or complications such as cancer.

He’ll also explore other research areas, discussing how the immune system misbehaves in a different direction; and if genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors influence whether individuals with psoriasis develop a potentially debilitating form of arthritis.

Following the lecture, there will be a drinks reception in the 5 West Foyer.