The Musculoskeletal research theme is lead by Prof Deborah Symmons, Chair of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Epidemiology at the University of Manchester and Medical Director and Head of the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit. Deborah is also director of the new NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal BRU which will launch in April 2012.
The theme's research is diverse and multi-disciplinary, addressing genetic and environmental risk factors for the development and outcome of musculoskeletal conditions; treatment response across the musculoskeletal diseases; drug safety; and commercial and academic-led clinical trials.
Studies mainly focus on physiotherapy, rheumatology and orthopedics.
All the relevant Trusts in Greater Manchester contribute to one or more musculoskeletal research studies with Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust being the two biggest recruiters.
The theme has dedicated musculoskeletal research nurses at:
- Manchester Royal Infirmary
- Salford Royal Hosptial
- North Manchester General Hospital and
- Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport
In addition, there are two peripatetic nurses who work across all sites as necessary to recruit patients on to trials.
The network is also currently supporting one of the biggest national clinical trials for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Trace RA which looks at the use of statins in people with RA and recruitment to the BSR Biologics Register.