President's Welcome letter
On behalf of the British Psoriatic Arthritis ConsorTium (BritPACT), a warm welcome.
BritPACT formed in 2014 through the collaboration of clinicians and patient partners with a passion for increasing knowledge, awareness and management of psoriatic arthritis.
We aspire to facilitate and advance research and best practice in psoriatic arthritis in the United Kingdom.
We presently have 128 members including doctors, trainees, allied health care professionals and patient partners. As a member we encourage you to partake in our annual “Frontiers in Psoriatic arthritis meetings”. These meetings are free to attend thanks to the support from industry grants.
Additionally, we hope you will develop and support our initiatives to improve care in Psoriatic arthritis.
Should you wish to become a member please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the contributions you would like to make to BritPACT.
BritPACT Steering Committee
To facilitate and advance research and best practice in psoriatic arthritis in the United Kingdom.
Terms of reference:
• To bring together UK individuals with an interest in PsA
• To create a UK infrastructure to undertake studies in PsA
• To collaborate in studies improving knowledge and outcome in PsA
• To develop and execute research ideas in PsA
• To engage with ARUK clinical study group to facilitate research in PsA
• To engage with the Translational Research Partnerships in PsA
• To collaborate with BRIT-SPA
• To collaborate with GRAPPA
• To engage with relevant dermatology stakeholders
• To develop and disseminate knowledge around PsA and comorbidities
• To ensure patient and public involvement at all levels
Dr Laura Coates (Chair)
Laura Coates is a National Institute for Health Research Clinician Scientist based at the University of Oxford in the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS).
Laura’s research centres on psoriatic arthritis and the spondyloarthritides and her interests include early diagnosis of PsA, development of PsA specific and validated outcome measures, optimal treatment pathways and the concept of treating to target in PsA. She has developed and validated screening questionnaires to identify PsA. She has experience in outcome measures development and has been involved in the development and validation of novel clinical and imaging outcome measures, including the minimal disease activity (MDA) criteria for PsA. She is the first author of the Tight Control of Psoriatic Arthritis (TICOPA) study, the first study to address treating to target in PsA which improved clinical and patient reported outcomes.
Laura sits on the Steering Committee of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) and the British PsA Consortium (BritPACT). She was first author on the 2015 GRAPPA treatment recommendations for psoriasis and PsA and is also involved in the GRAPPA/OMERACT initiative to refine the core set of outcome measures for PsA.
Professor Oliver Fitzgerald (International Advisor)
Professor FitzGerald is a Newman Clinical Research Professor and Consultant Rheumatologist at St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin. He is also a Fellow at the Conway Institute for Biomolecular Research, University College Dublin.
He is on the Steering Committee of the Group for Research in Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) and co-chairs the Research and Biomarker sub-committee. He is also a founding member of the Psoriatic Arthritis Genetics in Europe (PAGE) consortium. With more than 250 peer-reviewed publications many on the subject of Psoriatic Arthritis, he has a major interest in clinical and translational science including genetics and proteomics.
Dr Nicola Gullick
Nicola Gullick studied medicine at the University of Nottingham. She completed general medical training in the West Midlands and trained in Rheumatology in South London.
She completed a PhD under the supervision of Leonie Taams and Bruce Kirkham, investigating relationships between MRI and power Doppler ultrasound and the presence of cytokine (including interleukin-17) producing cells in synovial fluid and tissue from patients with inflammatory arthritis.
Nicola was an NIHR Clinical Lecturer at King’s College London before becoming a Consultant Rheumatologist at King’s College Hospital, where she ran the Psoriatic Arthritis service for 5 years.
Nicola is now a Consultant Rheumatologist at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire and is the department lead for R&D, biologic therapies, psoriatic arthritis.
Dr Philip Helliwell
Philip Helliwell PhD, DM, FRCP is currently Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Leeds, in the UK, and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist for the Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust.
Previous and current appointments include: Member of NHS R&D Research Committee on Physical and Complex Disabilities, Member of the Executive Council, Centre for Biomechanics and Medical Engineering; Treasurer and Member of Executive Committee, Society for Back Pain Research; Member of Education Committee, Arthritis Research Campaign; and Editor for the ARC Patient Information Leaflets and Convener Publications Working Group, Member of the Heberden Committee, at the British Society for Rheumatology, Member of Council at the British Society for Rheumatology.
Dr Helliwell is a member of ASAS (Assessment of Spondyloarthropathy Society) and co-founder and Vice President of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic arthritis (GRAPPA). He has worked with GRAPPA in developing single and composite outcome measures in psoriatic arthritis and has just recruited the first treat to target study in early psoriatic arthritis – due for publication in 2013.
Dr Helliwell is co-founder and co-lead for the Bradford (University) Diploma in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine and is an active member of the Bradford and Airedale Musculoskeletal Alliance, a tier 2 service provided to GPs in the designated geographical area.
Current and past research: treatment paradigms, clinical features and classification of psoriatic arthritis; treatment paradigms in psoriatic arthritis; biomechanics of joints, gait assessment and foot disorders in inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritis, epidemiology of rheumatic disease and community based studies of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Dr Deepak Jadon
Deepak Jadon is a consultant rheumatologist, Director of the Rheumatology Research Unit, and lead for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. Having grown up in Cardiff, he graduated from the University of Wales College of Medicine in 2003, and then undertook clinical training in rheumatology and general internal medicine in Bath and Bristol between 2007 - 2015. He completed his PhD thesis on ‘biomarkers of psoriatic arthritis phenotypes’ at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (Bath, UK) in 2015.
Deepak has particular expertise in the investigation and management of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), spondyloarthritis (SpA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). He is qualified in the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound and as part of a team, will be using it to improve diagnostic accuracy and assessment of disease activity.
His research interests include genetic and serum biomarkers of PsA, AS and SpA, in particular those that predict prognosis and developing psoriatic spondyloarthritis or arthritis mutilans. He has also researched the clinical and radiographic differences between PsA and AS, and juvenile- vs. adult-onset AS. As Director of the Rheumatology Research Unit, he leads on phase 2a – 4 clinical studies of novel therapeutic agents for PsA, AS, SpA and RA.
Dr Bruce Kirkham
Bruce Kirkham qualified as a doctor in New Zealand before travelling to the United Kingdom to complete his postgraduate rheumatology training at Guy’s Hospital, including his MD thesis entitled “Immune Assessment and Immunotherapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis”. After a fellowship year at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, in 1991 he became a Consultant Rheumatologist in Adelaide and subsequently in Sydney in 1995. There he continued his work in clinical trials of new treatments and investigation of immune mechanisms, in particular IL-17 pathways, in inflammatory arthritis.
He has been a Consultant Rheumatologist at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust since 2000, spending a year as Professor of Rheumatology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, in 2008-9. In 2004, he developed the RA Centre service for optimal treatment of inflammatory arthritis. He is member of the NICE RA management guidelines group. His clinics work closely with the St John’s Institute of Dermatology, the largest centre for psoriasis in southern England, and was awarded a GRAPPA International Centre of Excellence in 2016. His translational research interests focus on IL-17/23 immunology in Psoriatic Arthritis.
Professor Neil McHugh
Neil McHugh graduated from Otago University Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand, and completed physician training before specialising in the subspecialty of rheumatology. He has undertaken research fellowships at the Walter and Eliza Hall in Melbourne, Australia (1985), Yale University Medical School, USA (1990–1991), and the National Heart and Lung Institute, UK (2002–2004).
Neil has been a Consultant Rheumatologist at the RNHRD since 1991, and Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at the University of Bath since 2013. His current interests include the serology of idiopathic inflammatory myositis, scleroderma, lupus and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. His laboratory group offers specialist autoimmune serology at the University of Bath, leads on a major European study of adult and juvenile idiopathic myositis, and has identified a number of novel diagnostic autoantibody biomarkers.
Professor McHugh also leads a programme of work related to psoriatic disease, including a National Institute for Health Research programme grant related to the early detection and optimisation of outcome measures in psoriatic arthritis.
He has led on successive British Society for Rheumatology guidelines for biologics in psoriatic arthritis, and has been involved in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and other international guidelines for psoriatic disease.
Dr Jon Packham
Jon Packham BM, FRCP, DM is currently honorary Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent UK and Consultant Rheumatologist at the Haywood Hospital for the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership (SSoTP) NHS Trust, with specialist interests in spondyloarthropathy and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Previous and current appointments include: member of the Heberden Committee at the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR), member of BSR Council, West Midlands regional BSR chair, vice chair for the BSR biologics registries subcommittee, member of the National Integrated Care working group, medical advisor for JIA to National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, member of NICE guideline development groups ‘Spondyloarthropathies’ and ‘Depression in chronic disease’, BSR national gout audit co-lead, secretary for the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) and rheumatology regional specialist advisor for the Royal College of Physicians.
Dr Packham is a member of Arthritis Research UK Spondyloarthropathy clinical studies group and founder member of BritPACT. He is associate medical director of research for SSoTP NHS trust and an active member of the Keele Haywood Rheumatology Academic Group, working closely with the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at Keele University.
Current and past research: psychological outcomes in inflammatory arthritis, quality of life and fatigue in spondyloarthropathy, long term outcomes in juvenile arthritis, treatment paradigms for psoriatic arthritis and spondyloarthropathy, biomarkers for disease outcome in inflammatory arthritis and community based studies of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Dr Stefan Siebert
Dr Siebert, MBBCh, PhD, FRCP, is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Inflammation and Rheumatology in the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation in the University of Glasgow. He also works as honorary consultant rheumatologist in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary where he runs specialist psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and combined complex tendinopathy clinics. He qualified at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and worked as Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at Swansea University before moving to Glasgow in 2012.
He leads the Spondyloarthritis (SpA) and PsA clinical research programme in Glasgow and is also involved in studies investigating underlying disease mechanisms and new therapies in RA. He has been lead investigator on a number of commercial and non-commercial clinical trials, including the current Scottish PsA cohort with biobank and an MRC-funded ankylosing spondylitis (AS) cohort study. He is also a co-applicant on the BSRBR-PsA biologics register, with responsibilities for biobanking.
He is the chair of the Arthritis Research UK Research Advisory Group for Inflammatory Arthritis and was previously the chair of the Arthritis Research UK Progress Review Committee. He is on the Executive Steering Committees of both BRITSpA and BritPACT (British SpA and PsA societies, respectively). On a global level, he is on the steering committee of GRAPPA (Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic arthritis) and a member of ASAS (Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society).
Dr William Tillett
Dr William Tillett is a consultant rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases and senior lecturer in the department of pharmacy and pharmacology at the University of Bath, UK. He graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSc in Anatomical Science before undertaking his medical degree at the same institution. He undertook his doctoral fellowship in outcome measurement in psoriatic arthritis.
His current research interests centre on the assessment of psoriatic arthritis (clinical, radiographic and patient reported outcome), early detection of disease and treatment strategies. He was awarded a EULAR Clinical Scientist award in 2015 and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Rheumatology.
He co-authored the 2013 British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) psoriatic arthritis anti-TNF guidelines and currently co-chairs the guideline update committee. He co-chairs the international psoriatic arthritis Outcome Measurement in Rheumatology (OMERACT) working group. He is a is a member of the international Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) and trustee for the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD).
Mel Brooke is married with two children and lives in Wiltshire. She developed psoriasis at a young age and went on to develop psoriatic arthritis in her early 30s.
Mel has 14+yrs experience working for a Global Clinical Research Organisation, ran her own craft business for 10yrs and has worked as an expert patient partner on a number of PsA related projects. She also works on patient & public engagement initiatives for Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases, and is Chair of PsAZZ, a psoriatic arthritis patient support group.
Mr Andrew Parkinson (patient representative)
Married to Lou, two grown up children Jessica & Harry. Living in West Yorkshire.
Runs residential letting agency, established in 1994. Daughter joined the business 2012.
Diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis 7 years ago, fortunate to join TICOPA trial, received treatment quickly & effectively.
Enjoys skiing, walking & watching most sports.
BritPACT obtain funds to help support meetings, educational and research activities to increase it’s impact nationally and internationally.
Pharmaceutical companies support us via educational grants, these companies have had no editorial control over BritPACT’s research and educational events.
The current companies supporting Brit-PACT are:
Updated November 2019