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Christopher Buckley, Kennedy Professor of Translational Rheumatology at the University of Oxford and Birmingham, has been awarded the 2020 Carol Nachman prize for Rheumatology.

The prize, awarded by the Hessian State Capital Wiesbaden, Germany, is based on outstanding innovate research activities in the field of rheumatology. This prestigious award is the highest international honour a rheumatologist can receive; Professor Buckley shares this year's award with Professor Dirk Elewaut from Ghent University.

Professor Buckley directs the Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP), an initiative led by the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, which is funded by the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research, and is supported by the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre.

A-TAP aims to deliver 'stratified pathology; the right drug for the right disease indication' in a range of immune mediated inflammatory diseases.

Professor Buckley is only the sixth rheumatologist in the UK to have been awarded the prize since it was established in 1972. To recognise the outstanding research results and his remarkable contributions to rheumatology, a presentation ceremony for the prize will take place in May 2021, delayed this year due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking of his award, Professor Buckley said: "It is a real honor to have been awarded the Carol Nachman prize to recognise the value of team based science, that crosses not only from the bench to beside, but bedside to bedside (across medical disciplines) as well as universities. My discovery science and clinical colleagues in both Oxford and Birmingham as well as the seven NHS hospitals that are affiliated with A-TAP are such amazing people to work with and I owe them a debt of gratitude for supporting the A-TAP vision."

Professor Fiona Powrie, Director of the Kennedy Institute at the University of Oxford said: "Many congratulations to Chris on receiving this prestigious international award recognising his pioneering work on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and the search for new therapies."

Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, added: "This award is a fitting recognition of Professor Buckley's outstanding contribution to understanding the pathology of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Importantly, through A-TAP, he is now deploying this knowledge to develop improved therapies for this debilitating disease"

Professor Stephen Holgate, Chair of the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research said: "This prestigious Prize is a fitting tribute to Professor Buckley, who's vision and drive have made the A-TAP initiative such a success. The Kennedy Trust is delighted to have been able to support his work and offer him our warmest congratulations."