Chair'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. As of 2020, Brit-PACT is a charity registered in the UK (1189246) with rheumatologist, dermatologist, allied health professional and patient partner members, developed to facilitate and advance research and best practice in psoriatic arthritis in the United Kingdom
We presently have 116 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 Nicola Gullick (Chair)
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 Laura Coates
Laura Coates is a National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer based at the Unviersity of Leeds in the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine.
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.
Dr Tania Gudu
Tania Gudu is a Rheumatology Consultant working at Ipswich Hospital, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and she is also an Honorary Consultant at Addenebrookes Hospital, Cambridge. Tania undertook her rheumatology training in Romania and France and she has completed her PhD thesis on the topic of ‘Impact of Psoriatic Arthritis’ (Romania/ France, 2018).
Tania leads the spondyloarthritis (SpA) service within the Rheumatology Department at Ipswich Hospital, where she runs weekly SpA clinics and multidisciplinary meetings for SpA patients with colleagues from physiotherapy, dermatology, and gastroenterology, respectively. Tania is actively involved in clinical research. She is the principal investigator of several academic studies on psoriatic arthritis (PsA). She has recently established a collaboration with the Department of Psychology at University of Essex working on psychology projects related to inflammatory arthritis, in particular SpA and PsA (as part of EEPRU, Essex ESNEFT Psychological Research Unit for Behaviour, Health and Wellbeing).
She has a special interest in psoriatic arthritis (PsA), with a focus on patient perspective/ patient reported outcomes, multidisciplinary working and imaging in PsA. She is very passionate about patient education and patient involvement in research.
Louise is a chartered physiotherapist with over 23 years of experience working in the NHS. She has a strong interest in working with people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders.
Louise now works as Research Assistant in Psoriatic Arthritis with Laura Coates at the Botnar Research Centre at the University of Oxford. She is also responsible for coordinating patient and public involvement work in the department.
She has a master’s in Evidence-Based Healthcare, experience in systematic reviewing and the research methodologies underpinning evidence-based practice. She believes it is vital to understand evidence uncertainties and issues that matter most to people who need to use research using reliable, evidence-based methods.
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 Pauline Ho
I am a rheumatologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester. I have always been interested in Psoriatic disease, my Ph.D was on genetics of psoriatic arthritis. I have one dedicated psoritic arthritis clinic every week. I am the musculoskeletal ultrasound lead at the Northwest region.
Despite being a full time clinician, I have always been committed to both clinical and basic science research in psoriatic arthritis. I collaborate with academic researchers at The University of Manchester and I am a Principal Investigator for clinical research studies, both academic and commercial, observational and investigative medicines, Phase II and above, in particular those involving ultrasound and ultrasound guided synovial biopsy studies at the Kellgren Centre for Rheumatology and the Wellcome Trust Research Facility in Manchester Royal Infirmary. I am pleased to say that both the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) have granted dedicated research time for me to continue research in psoriatic disease.
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 Hannah Jethwa
Hannah Jethwa (BSc (Hons) MBChB MRCP) is a Rheumatology Registrar and Research Fellow based in London and Cambridge, respectively. She is undergoing a clinical research project into serum bone-turnover biomarkers in PsA based at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and she has a keen interest in improving quality standards in PsA and SpA.
She is passionate about patient education and is currently undertaking a PGCert in Healthcare and Medical Education. She is also an Associate Fellow of the South Asian Health Foundation and a Senior Specialty Trainee representative.
Being treated for psoriasis, PSA and being a chartered physiotherapist has given me a unique perspective into the role of both patient and professional in the management of the conditions. A recent patient partner role involvement in the James Lind PSP for the top 10 research priorities for PSA has enabled me to become more involved in a collaborative approach to help guide developments for management and research.
Dr Sandeep Mukherjee
Sandeep Mukherjee MBBS, MRCP (Rheum), MA (Med Ed), FRCP is a consultant rheumatologist at the University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust. He has a special interest in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and has set up a weekly PsA clinic at Christchurch Hospital. In addition, with the help of a Health Education England (Wessex) Quality Improvement fellowship, he and his team have successfully implemented iPad-based assessments in this clinic aiming for Minimal Disease Activity (MDA) as well as initiated a quarterly combined clinic with the dermatologists.
He has also set up the Wessex Psoriatic Disease Network to facilitate collaborative working between the dermatologists and rheumatologists in the region. He has earnestly contributed to Brit-PACT’s JLA Priority Setting Partnership for PsA and has been a member of the GRAPPA 2021 treatment recommendations working group on nail disease.
Sandeep is actively involved in research and is the PI for the BSR-PsA study. He also has a Masters in Medical Education and provides educational supervision to the specialty trainees in rheumatology.
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 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.
Clare Allen (Patient Representative)
Clare is married with two boys, and lives in Cambridgeshire. Originally trained as a vet, she started teaching vet students after 10 years in equine practice in the US, and went on to earn her PhD in higher education in 2013. She returned to the UK to become Deputy Head of Teaching at the Vet School at the University of Cambridge, but took a career break in 2019 to home educate her autistic son. She now does consulting work on professional education and equality and diversity issues in higher education.
She was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis 2 years ago, after several years of confusion about where all the aches and pains were coming from, and was fortunate to be enrolled in the Monitor study. This has lead to excellent care for her disease. She loves to swim outdoors in the fens and write bad poetry.
Brit-PACT 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 Brit-PACT’s research and educational events.
The current companies supporting Brit-PACT's activities this calendar year are: