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Publications Publications


Leadership and Team members


Francisco J Blanco, MD, PhD 

University of A Coruña, Spain

Executive Committee members:

Paul J Ultz, MD

University of Stanford, USA

Justyna Fert-Bober, PhD

Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, USA

Oliver FitzGerald, MD

University College Dublin, Ireland

Manuel Fuentes, PhD

Centro de Investigación del Cancer, Salamanca, Spain

Peter Nilsson, PhD

SciLifeLab & KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Patrik Önnerfjord, PhD

Lund University, Sweden

Stephen R. Pennington, PhD

University College Dublin, Ireland

Alex J. Rai, PhD

Columbia University, New York, USA

Cristina Ruiz-Romero, PhD

Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de A Coruña, Spain

Jennifer van Eyk, PhD

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA

Fionna Watt, MD

Imperial College, London, UK

Early Career Researcher:

Valentina Calamia, PhD

Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de A Coruña, Spain

Rheumatism is a non-specific term used to describe any painful disorder affecting the loco-motor system including joints, muscles, connective tissues and soft tissues around the joints and bones. Rheumatologic disorders include ageing-related pathologies such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or spondyloarthropaties, and systemic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Behcet´s disease and others. Rheumatic and autoimmune diseases have a huge socioeconomic impact, given the high prevalence or morbidity of some of them. Furthermore, they present several currently unmet medical needs: their early diagnosis is often difficult, they have a challenging heterogeneous clinical course and treatment choices are not yet personalized. 

The general objective of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Disorders (RAD) initiative is the generation of new knowledge on proteins involved in prognostic, therapeutic, and physiopathological issues taking place in rheumatic and autoimmune diseases. This will allow improving our diagnostic and prognostic capacity, exploring potential therapeutic biomarkers, and obtaining basic knowledge on alternative disease pathogenesis not presently addressed by current therapies. As a strategic goal, this newly launched initiative aims to improve the research capacity of the groups working in RAD, as well as to facilitate the cooperative research in this area through the development of networking activities.

Current lines of work: 

Our initiative is working in improving the characterization of the proteome of human joint tissues (cartilage, synovial tissue, meniscus and subchondral bone), defining protein lists relevant in the physiology of the joint and systemic autoimmune processes.  In this area, we also aim to boost the development of quantitative proteomics assays for their analysis, including targeted MS methods, PTM analyses and Ab-based approaches using protein arrays. This work is essential to further characterize proteins as useful biomarkers for patient stratification and therapeutic management, in order to facilitate precision medicine strategies in RAD. 

Collection of RAD papers:

Paz-González R, et al. An atlas of the knee joint proteins and their role in osteoarthritis defined by literature mining. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2023; 23:100606.

Fuentes M, et al. Exploring High-Throughput Immunoassays for Biomarker Validation in Rheumatic Diseases in the Context of the Human Proteome Project. J Proteome Res. 2023; 22(4):1105-1115.

Garriga C, et al. Clinical and molecular associations with outcomes at 2 years after acute knee injury: a longitudinal study in the Knee Injury Cohort at the Kennedy (KICK). Lancet Rheumatol. 2021; 3(9):e648-e658. 

Jansen MP, et al. Artificial Intelligence in osteoarthritis: repair by knee joint distraction shows association of pain, radiographic and immunologic outcomes. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022 Dec 29:keac723.

Sundararaman N, et al. BIRCH: An Automated Workflow for Evaluation, Correction, and Visualization of Batch Effect in Bottom-Up Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics Data. J Proteome Res. 2023 Feb 3;22(2):471-481.

Mc Ardle A, et al. Standardized Workflow for Precise Mid- and High-Throughput Proteomics of Blood Biofluids. Clin Chem. 2022 Mar 4;68(3):450-460. 

Gurke R, et al. Omics and Multi-Omics Analysis for the Early Identification and Improved Outcome of Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis. Biomedicines. 2022 Sep 24;10(10):2387.

Rydén M, et al. A human meniscus explant model for studying early events in osteoarthritis development by proteomics. J Orthop Res. 2023 May 23.

Stachowicz A, et al. Protein arginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) modulates the polarization of THP-1 macrophages to the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype. J Inflamm (Lond). 2022 Nov 18;19(1):20.

Fert-Bober J, et al. Insights into the study and origin of the citrullinome in rheumatoid arthritis. Immunological Reviews, 2019 Dec 25th; Vol 294

Geraldino-Pardilla L, et al. Association of Anti-Citrullinated Protein/Peptide Antibodies with Left Ventricular Structure, Function and Geometry in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatology, 2017, Volume 56, Issue 4, 534–540.

RAD initiative membership:

Please contact anyone in the executive committee for further information on how to connect and get involved in the RAD initiative.

Announcements & upcoming events

American College of Rheumatology (ACR)

Convergence 2023

 November 10-15, 2023 - San Diego, CA

2024 OsteoArthritis Research Society International (OARSI) World Congress

 April 18-21, 2024 - Vienna, Austria

More information coming soon

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