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Rheumatology Research Unit


The Rheumatology Research Unit has a long history and the University was the first to establish a dedicated research programme to study rheumatic disease in New Zealand.

The Rheumatology Research Unit has an active research agenda covering the following major themes:

  • The immunopathology of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spondyloarthritis
  • Genetics of rheumatic diseases
  • The impact of rheumatic disease on quality of life
  • The evaluation of complimentary therapies for rheumatic disease

Dr Tony Merriman (Department of Biochemistry, Otago School of Biomedical Sciences) has also established a longterm collaboration investigating the genetics of gout in Aotearoa, which is part of a NZ$3.4m HRC programme grant.

The SAGE Study, a major multi-centre study investigating genetic and environmental factors in the aetiology of spondyloarthritis is coordinated through the Unit.

The Unit has received funding from the HRC for smoking cessation interventions in rheumatoid arthritis.

The Unit is active in both the Arthritis Research Theme and the Gut Health Network.

The Unit supervises a number of postgraduate students.

Arthritis Research Theme website
Gut Health Network website
SAGE Study webpage

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The Rheumatology Research Unit has a collaborative approach to research with ongoing research associations in New Zealand and overseas, including:

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Staff at the Rheumatology Research Unit

Academic staff:

Clinical staff:

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