Dr Laura Coates joined the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), Oxford in 2017 as an National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinician Scientist to research optimal therapeutic strategies for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Laura is establishing a new psoriatic arthritis service in Oxford to see if a more practical version of ‘treat to target’, an approach where a patient’s treatment is increased regularly until a target was achieved can be run successfully in a routine NHS Clinic. Laura developed this approach to the condition when conducting the Tight Control of Psoriatic Arthritis (TICOPA) clinical study, which found that the ‘treat to target’ improves patients’ outcomes.
Laura is also testing different treatment options in an attempt to personalise care. She expects to discover whether patients with mild (PsA) can be treated successfully without more powerful arthritis drugs, and thereby avoid side effects. And also to discover whether patients with a severe form of the condition, do better if they start on stronger arthritis drugs.
Laura completed her rheumatology training and her PhD at the University of Leeds in the Leeds Institute of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine. Her PhD focused on the development and validation of the minimal disease activity criteria for PsA, which she established in the TICOPA study.
Laura’s 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. Laura has developed and validated screening questionnaires to identify PsA. She has experience in outcome measurement, and has been involved in the development and validation of novel clinical and imaging outcome measures.
Laura is the first author of the TICOPA study. This is the first study to address treating to target in PsA, and improved clinical and patient reported outcomes. In 2011 Laura’s publications and their impact was recognized and she was awarded one of eight UK Scopus Young Investigator Awards. In 2012 she obtained the University of Leeds Women of Achievement Award.
Laura is a member of the Steering Committee of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) and the British Psoriatic Arthritis Consortium (Brit-PACT). She is the first author on the 2015 GRAPPA treatment recommendations for psoriasis and PsA, and is also involved in the GRAPPA/OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Rheumatology) initiative to refine the core set of outcome measures for PsA.
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