The TARGET Consortium
Professor Ann Morgan
Professor of Molecular Rheumatology at the University of Leeds, and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
FRCP, Royal College of Physicians, London; PhD, University of Leeds; MRCP, Royal College of Physicians, London; MBChB (Hons.), University of Leeds; BSc (Hons.) Pathology, Class I, University of Leeds
I am Head of the Molecular and Personalised Medicine Group within the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine. I have collaborated widely with national and international genetics consortia and rare disease clinical and scientific communities for over 15 years. Through NIHR-BRC, NIHR-MIC, MRC-MATURA and MRC-TARGET awards my group are exploring the potential for translating our genetic discoveries into clinically useful diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers.
A central paradigm of my laboratory’s work is that autoantibodies drive persistent inflammatory responses. We have identified novel genetic variants in the IgG receptors (Fcɣ Receptors) that are associated with multiple autoimmune diseases. We have shown dysregulation of receptor expression influences treatment responses. With colleagues in Biological Sciences, I’ve established a drug-development programme that has identified Affimers as prototypic therapeutics, which may ultimately be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoantibody-associated diseases.
Since 2007, I have been a committee member for the Biologics in RA Genetics and Genomics Study Syndicate (BRAGGSS) and am a UK Rheumatoid Arthritis Genetics Group member. I also Lead a number of interdisciplinary and cross-collaborative projects that have multiple partners representing academia and industry in the UK, EU and Internationally. As well as leading the previously mentioned NIHR-BRC, NIHR-MIC, MRC-MATURA and MRC-TARGET collaborations, I am also Musculoskeletal Lead for the Leeds MRC Medical Bioinformatics Centre and Theme Lead for Musculoskeletal Disease for the Leeds NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
I have active research projects (ranging from laboratory studies, to large data analysis and patient-focused research) in the areas of rheumatoid arthritis, giant cell arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and Behçet’s syndrome. I am delighted to be PI on the MRC-funded Partnership Award TARGET. The aims of TARGET exemplify my ethos of ensuring a clear route to translation from the outset of study design.
I have significant engagement with patient groups and charities. For example, I sit on the Medical Board for Vasculitis UK and the Behçet’s Syndrome Society, and I am a Medical Advisor for PMRGCAuk. I have been actively involved with Versus Arthritis since 2010. I am a former Trustee and worked on their Fellowships Implementation Panel, and formed part of the Adult Inflammatory Arthritis Clinical Studies Group. I am currently their PhD Panel Deputy Chair, a member of their Biomedical Sciences Fellowships Committee and Fellowships Implementation Panel, and Co-lead their Co-morbidity Working Group.
I have over 280 publications in the leading peer-reviewed journals in my field. For a comprehensive list of these publications, please follow the link.
My current Academic team consists of sixteen staff and students: including an Associate Clinical Professor in Vascular Rheumatology/Hon. Consultant Rheumatologist: three Research Fellows: one Project Manager; two Lab Technicians; 8 PhD students. I have previously supervised seven BSc, two MD and four PhD student projects to completion.
Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, The LIGHT Laboratories, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
For any NHS enquiry please call the Rheumatology contact line 0113 392 4444
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