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The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology is a biomedical research centre uniquely bringing together discovery science and early-stage clinical research, to develop transformative new therapies for chronic inflammatory and musculoskeletal conditions.

The entrance to the Kennedy Institute

Directed by Dame Professor Fiona Powrie FRS, the Kennedy Institute is broadly focused on the thematic areas of immunity and microbes, inflammation biologytissue remodelling and repair, computational biology, and clinical translation and experimental medicine. The Institute’s research is relevant for a range of common diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, fibrosis and cancer. 

The Institute has capacity for up to 260 staff and students who work collaboratively across 25 research groups. This enables a multidisciplinary approach of molecular and cellular biology, combined with analysis of disease models, patient tissue samples and longitudinal clinical data. Collectively, these studies seek to uncover the biological processes that maintain tissue health and how these pathways break down in disease. 

Research at the Institute is supported by a suite of scientific platforms, as well as through strategic partnerships with other basic and clinical research centres within the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals, across the UK and internationally. Scientific platforms provide access to state-of-the-art technologies include the Oxford-Zeiss Centre for Excellence and other advanced microscopy and imaging facilities, mass and flow cytometry, as well as capabilities for microbial genomics and functional microbiome studies made available through the Oxford Centre for Microbiome Studies.  

Complementing a strong programme of lab-based research, the Institute has established a core of expertise and technologies in data science including single cell genomics, statistical genetics, computational biology, and research informatics. A recent extension to the Institute building with a new third floor creates additional space purposely designed for computationally intensive research. 

The Kennedy Institute is historically linked to the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research, but also receives funding from numerous other sources including Versus Arthritis, the Wellcome Trust, UKRI, the European Commission and a variety of industry partners. 

The Institute was formed in 1965 as the Mathilda and Terence Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, in London. In 2011, the Institute joined the University of Oxford as an independent constituent Institute within the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science (NDORMS).