Identification of rheumatoid arthritis causal genes using functional genomics

Year of award: 2017


  • Dr Gisela Orozco

    University of Manchester

Project summary

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. There is currently no cure and treatments are sometimes not effective. Genetic studies have identified changes in the DNA sequence that increase the likelihood of developing RA but so far it is not known how the DNA changes increase the risk of RA. The aim of this project is to identify which genes the RA variants affect and to understand how changes in the DNA sequence between genes cause RA. It is thought that the DNA changes control the activity of genes but the genes being controlled may lie some distance away. However, DNA is folded so that the changes that predispose to RA and the genes they regulate are brought together. These folds are different in different types of cells.

I will investigate how the DNA folds and the changes in DNA alter the way genes are regulated in cells from patients with RA.

My findings will provide information on the cause of the disease and will suggest new options to treat RA, providing better patient care and improved outcomes.