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Laura Coates


NIHR Clinician Scientist and Senior Clinical Research Fellow

  • NIHR Clinician Scientist

I moved to Oxford in 2017 with an NIHR fellowship having completed my rheumatology training and my PhD at the University of Leeds in the Leeds Institute of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine.  

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.  

Given the impact of a delay in PsA diagnosis, I have led multiple studies assessing screening questionnaires and I believe that we can look to prevention of PsA by targeting an at-risk population with psoriasis. I co-lead PsA prevention studies within the European HIPPOCRATES consortium (IMI funded €24m) and development of smartphone apps to predict arthritis in the iPROLEPSIS consortium (EC funded €7m) with links to American programmes and collaborations investigating patient opinions on prevention.

I have experience in outcome measures development and have been involved in the development and validation of novel clinical and imaging outcome measures. Following our application, the European Medicines Agency published a letter of recommendation for the use of MDA in PsA clinical trials in 2022.

I have a particular interest in treat to target (T2T).  In the Tight control of PsA (TICOPA) study, we confirmed a significant benefit with tight control in multiple outcomes (Coates Lancet 2015).  This study resulted in a change to international recommendations for PsA. Through my NIHR fellowship, I established a multi-centre observational cohort of patients newly diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis to see if a more practical version of ‘treat to target’ approach can be run successfully in routine NHS Clinics.  

With increasing therapies, we must optimise treatment selection.  I believe that we can personalise treatment strategies based on disease phenotype and severity and we have studies running within our national cohort. This unmet need includes the potential of precision medicine with targeted drugs directed at pathology in the individual patient which is currently being tested in an NIHR funded UK study. 

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).