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UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration

The UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration (UK MSK TRC) aligns investment in MSK translational research, creating a UK-wide ambition and focus to drive cutting edge translational research to improve outcomes for patients.

We work collaboratively with all sectors of the health and care ecosystem including the life sciences industry, charities, and funders to deliver shared strategic goals, utilising national expertise and resources to develop and novel innovations to benefit people with Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs).

The UK MSK TRC is a collaboration between the NIHR and the charity Versus Arthritis, bringing together the expertise in musculoskeletal research of Versus Arthritis Experimental Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment Centres with NIHR infrastructures.

Work with us

The UK MSK TRC is made of globally recognised centres that work towards the goal of being at the forefront of musculoskeletal experimental medicine.

Collectively, the UK MSK TRC provides partners with streamlined access to world leading academic clinicians and scientists who have significant expertise in a wide range of inflammatory and rheumatoid conditions.

By encompassing collaboration across the UK including the devolved administrations, enables the UK MSK TRC to be truly national, and inclusive of groups beyond the 17 member centres (listed below).

The UK MSK TRC is keen to support proposals and initiatives that intend to be designed and developed tobe delivered at scale, reflecting the UK wide experimental medicine expertise, resources and collaborative
opportunities of the MSK TRC

The UK MSK TRC supports proposals that:

  • Align with the strategic focus of the MSK TRC and its workstreams
  • Are partially developed or new study proposals, where the MSK TRC supports the development and progress of the study, including protocol design
  • Are fully funded, thereby utilising UK MSK TRC expertise and resources to facilitate multi-centre study delivery and recruitment
  • Enable multi-centre studies. The TRC would also support initiatives that aim to develop underpinning methods and protocols.

We are keen to explore collaborations with experts based within and outside the UK, as well as the life science industry, charities, patient groups and other stakeholders. To discuss this further, please contact us.

Our Expertise and capabilities

We specialise in the development of exploratory protocols, biomarkers discovery, and in understanding the pathophysiology and disease mechanisms in a range of inflammatory and rheumatoid disorders.

We regularly review areas of unmet clinical need to determine emerging topics that could become a focus for the MSK TRC.

UK MSK TRC Workstreams

  • Connective Tissue Disorders - led by Prof FrancescoDelGaldo, Leeds 
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus 
    • Systemic sclerosis
    • Sjögren's syndrome
    • Idiopathic inflammatory myositis
    • ANCA-associated vasculitis
    • Large vessel vasculitis 
  • Inflammatory Arthritis – led by a Steering Group of Prof Andrew Cope (Kings college, London), Prof Maya H Buch (Manchester), Prof Stefan Siebert (Glasgow), Dr Kulveer Mankia (Leeds), Dr Arthur Pratt (Newcastle) and Dr Andrew Filer (Birmingham)
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    •  Spondyloarthropathies
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Psoriatic arthritis
    •  IBD-arthropathy
    • Reactive arthritis
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions – led by Dr Fiona Watt, Imperial and Prof Andrew McCaskie, Cambridge
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Tendinopathies
    • Back and shoulder pain
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Crystal disease
    • Metabolic bone disorders
    • MSK injuries caused by acute traumatic events
    • Other regional pain syndromes
  • Pain Cross cutting themes led by Prof David Walsh, Nottingham

Framework Themes

These are key and essential components that form part of the UK MSK TRC infrastructure.

  • Life-Course approach
  • Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE)
  • Experimental Medicine Platforms

Cross-cutting Scientific Themes

These are initiatives and themes that have been raised as areas of potential scientific focus for the UK MSK TRC.

  • Trial Methodology
  • Technologies and Diagnostics
  • Biosample Initiatives

 The UK MSK TRC regularly reviews areas of unmet clinical need to determine emerging topics that could become a focus for the group.

Who we are

The breadth of Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration expertise in the UK

The Versus Arthritis and NIHR partnership creates a truly national initiative of Versus Arthritis investment in Experimental Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment Centres and NIHR infrastructures including Biomedical Research Centres (BRC) Clinical Research Facilities (CRF) and the Clinical Research Network (CRN).

The UK MSK TRC Chair is Prof Maya H Buch, Manchester and Deputy Chair is Prof Stefan Siebert, Glasgow.

Our TRC comprises of NIHR BRCs and Versus Arthritis Experimental Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment Centres. Each TRC Centre is represented by a clinical academic lead who is an advocate for collaboration.

These Centres are world-leaders in musculoskeletal translational research and based within top NHS university partnerships.

List of UK MSK TRC partner organisations and lead academics

If you are interested in working with us, please click here.