UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration

The UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration (UK MSK TRC) is a joint collaboration between the NIHR and Versus Arthritis, bringing together the Versus Arthritis investment in Experimental Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment Centres with the relevant NIHR infrastructure with expertise in MSK.

The UK MSK TRC aligns investment in MSK translational research creating a UK-wide ambition and focus to drive cutting edge translational research in order to improve outcomes for patients. The UK MSK TRC also provides industry with streamlined access to world leading academic clinicians and scientists who have significant expertise in a wide range of inflammatory and rheumatoid conditions. The UK MSK TRC is made of globally recognised centres and continues to work towards the goal of being at the forefront of MSK experimental medicine.

The UK MSK TRC works collaboratively with all sectors of the health and care ecosystem including the life sciences industry, charities and other funders to further research in MSK disorders and to help develop new diagnostics and treatments.

Accelerating New Treatments Funding Call

The UK MSK TRC will fund mechanistic experimental/translational medicine studies in humans across the areas of prevention, diagnosis or treatment. Find out more on the Versus Arthritis website.

Who is this for?

To be suitable for UK MSK TRC support, a project is expected to:

  • involve one or more industry partners
  • focus on a disease area recognised as a TRC area of expertise
  • bring significant academic value and the opportunity for scientific leadership from the TRC
  • be at an early stage to enable input and feedback on study design and adopt a collaborative approach to study design
  • utilise experimental medicine approaches such as novel exploratory endpoints, biomarkers and stratification strategies
  • have a trial management team or delegated CRO or academic clinical trial unit in place to ensure effective study delivery.

The UK MSK TRC experts will help you to shape your protocol, providing advice on study design. The UK MSK TRC can offer scientific advice when there is a clear intent to deliver the study through the Collaboration, they are not designed to act as stand-alone advisory boards.

If you already have a fully-developed protocol and are only looking for recruitment sites the NIHR Study Support Service will be able to help you. 

Benefits of working with the UK MSK TRC

The UK MSK TRC provide operational support, including a standard pre-approved non-disclosure agreement, contractual templates and a close working relationship with the NIHR Clinical Research Network for identification of sites.

The UK MSK TRC provides cutting-edge expertise in the development of exploratory protocols, biomarkers discovery, and an understanding of pathophysiology and disease mechanisms in a range of inflammatory and rheumatoid  disorders, including: 

Connective Tissue Disorders

Inflammatory Arthritis

Musculoskeletal Conditions

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus 
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Sjögren's syndrome
  • Idiopathic inflammatory myositis
  • ANCA-associated vasculitis
  • Large vessel vasculitis 
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Spondyloarthropathies
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Psoriatic arthritis
    • IBD-arthropathy
    • Reactive arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinopathies
  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Crystal disease
  • Metabolic bone disorders
  • MSK injuries caused by acute traumatic events
  • Other regional pain syndromes


Cross cutting themes

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

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


The breadth of Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration expertise in the UK

The location map shows the locations of some of the key NIHR Biomedical Research  Centres  based across the UK (listed in the table below) which are part of this Partnership.

 List of UK MSK TRC partner organisations

Lead academic


Professor Costantino Pitzalis

Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology.

Professor David Isenberg

University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre.

Dr Laura Coates

Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor John Isaacs

Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Maya Buch

Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Chris Buckley

Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre

Dr Natasha Jordan

Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.

Dr Matthew Pickering

Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Andrew Cope

Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor David Walsh

Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Pain Centre Versus Arthritis

Dr Francesco Del Galdo

Leeds Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Chris Edwards

Southampton Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Micheal Beresford

UK EATC4Children.

Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan

UK EATC4ChildrenBristol Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Ernest Choy

Cardiff Regional Experimental Arthritis Treatment and Evaluation Centre (CREATE).

Professor Iain McInnes

RACE - Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre Versus Arthritis.

To find out more about the NIHR UK MSK TRC and how your company or organisation can collaborate with us. E-mail: 

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