Our Scientific Advisory Committee
Our Scientific Advisory Committee is made up of professionals with a wealth of scientific and medical knowledge about scleroderma and Raynaud's phenomenon. They have experience in clinical practice and have sat on other advisory committees. Their role is to ensure grant applications submitted to SRUK meet the charity's remit and to review applications in light of peer review comments submitted by external professionals with expertise in the field. Decisions made by the Scientific Advisory Committee will be submitted to the Board of Trustees, who will award the grants.
Richard Watts (Chair)
Richard Watts is Consultant Rheumatologist at the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, where he was also Research and Development Director, and is Visiting Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Suffolk. He was Editor-in-Chief of Rheumatology between 2002 and 2008. His current academic interests are the epidemiology, aetiopathogenesis and treatment of autoimmune rheumatic disease. He is a principal investigator for studies in the classification and diagnosis of vasculitis, the importance of patient education in the management of long-term rheumatic disease and the organisation of services for people with rheumatoid arthritis. He was chair of the Heberden Committee of the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) and a Trustee of the BSR.
Professor Edwards is a Consultant Rheumatologist and Associate Director of the Southampton National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility within the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. He has been an Investigator on a number of clinical trials of therapies for inflammatory rheumatic diseases and as Associate Director of the Southampton NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility is engaged with the running of a large translational research facility. Professor Edwards is Clinical Director of the Southampton Musculoskeletal Research Unit, a recognised EULAR centre of excellence. Through this work, Professor Edwards is an investigator for a number of stratified medicine trials to better understand the targeting of therapies for individuals. He has worked extensively with the General Practice Research Database to define the patient experience across the UK.
Justin Mason is Professor of Vascular Rheumatology at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at the Hammersmith Hospital, London. He was the recipient of an Arthritis Research UK Intermediate Clinical Fellowship and an Arthritis Research UK Senior Clinical Fellowship. He served as Chair of the Arthritis Research UK RECAP Committee and sits on the Heberden Committee and the Biomedical Sciences panel. His clinical interests revolve around the management of the large vessel vasculitides and specifically Takayasu arteritis. Current research interests include (i) a basic science programme investigating molecular mechanisms influencing endothelial cytoprotection and how these might be therapeutically manipulated, and (ii) clinical research into the use of non-invasive imaging modalities for the assessment of large vessel vasculitides.
Allan Lawrie is a BHF Senior Basic Science Research Fellow in the Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Sheffield. Allan's research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) both in its idiopathic form and when associated with connective tissues diseases such as scleroderma. Allan trained at Stanford University with Prof Marlene Rabinovitch, and since returning to the UK to establish his own laboratory has obtained prestigious MRC and BHF Fellowships identifying a key role for osteoprotegerin in the pathogenesis of PAH. Allan works closely with clinical colleagues at the Sheffield, nationally and internationally to utilise patient blood samples to explore the molecular phenotyping of patients with pulmonary hypertension using multi-omic approaches with the goal of earlier diagnosis and new treatments.
David was appointed Consultant Rheumatologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in February 1988 and Honorary Professor to Norwich Medical School, UEA in 1998. He “retired” from his NHS post in July 2011, and is now an honorary consultant. David is a former President of the British Society for Rheumatology. He has a long-standing interest in systemic vasculitis and the rarer connective tissue diseases, and has written and lectured extensively on the subjects. He is also a Trustee on the SRUK Board.