Understanding genetic risk of ankylosing spondylitis

Disease - Anyklosing spondylitis

Lead applicant - Professor Julian Knight

Organisation - University of Oxford

Type of grant - Programme Grant Full application

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £1.168,780

Start date - 1 April 2015

Reference - 20773

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

The aim of this research is to identify the specific alterations in gene function involved in the inflammation and new bone formation seen in ankylosing spondylitis.

Why is this research important?

Previous research has already improved the understanding of the disease, leading to trials of new ankylosing spondylitis treatments. However, in most cases we do not understand which genes are affected and how this affects the body's immune and joint systems. By studying DNA taken from blood cells of both ankylosing spondylitis patients and healthy volunteers, this study aims to identify disease genes, assess the differences in the function of these genes in ankylosing spondylitis patients, and therefore reveal how the disease originates.

How will the findings benefit patients?

This research will improve the understanding of how changes in a patients DNA lead to ankylosing spondylitis development. By understanding how the disease starts and progresses, new drugs can be created to target parts of these disease processes, leading to highly targeted drug treatments. This study may also reveal that there may be existing drugs that could be quickly repurposed to use in ankylosing spondylitis treatment.