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Laura Coates


NIHR Clinician Scientist and Senior Clinical Research Fellow

  • NIHR Clinician Scientist

I moved to Oxford in 2017 as an NIHR Clinician Scientist to research optimal therapeutic strategies for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).  I am establishing a new psoriatic arthritis service in Oxford to see if a more practical version of ‘treat to target’ approach can be run successfully in a routine NHS Clinic.  We have previously shown in the TICOPA trial that this ‘Treat to Target’ approach (where patients’ treatment is increased regularly until a target was achieved) improves patients’ outcomes.  I am also testing different treatment choices within this to try to personalise care to the individual patient.  We will see if patients with mild disease can be treated successfully without being put onto more powerful arthritis drugs, avoiding the side effects of these and to see if patients with severe disease do better if they start on stronger arthritis drugs. 

I completed my rheumatology training and my PhD at the University of Leeds in the Leeds Institute of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine.  My PhD focused on the development and validation of the minimal disease activity (MDA) criteria for PsA and establishment of the TICOPA trial. My research is clinical and focuses on psoriatic arthritis and the spondyloarthritides including early diagnosis of PsA, development of PsA specific and validated outcome measures, optimal treatment pathways and strategies in PsA.  I have developed and validated screening questionnaires to identify PsA.  I have experience in outcome measures development and have been involved in the development and validation of novel clinical and imaging outcome measures. I am the first author of the Tight Control of Psoriatic Arthritis (TICOPA) study, the first study to address treating to target in PsA which improved clinical and patient reported outcomes. Based on my publications and their impact, I was awarded one of eight UK Scopus Young Investigator Awards in 2011 and a University of Leeds Women of Achievement Award in 2012.

I am a member of the Steering Committee of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) and the British PsA Consortium (BritPACT).  I am the first author on the 2015 GRAPPA treatment recommendations for psoriasis and PsA and am also involved in the GRAPPA/OMERACT initiative to refine the core set of outcome measures for PsA.