Ravinder Maini

University of London

Election Year: 2010
Primary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Research Interests

As a physician scientist my research interest is in understanding molecular mechanisms underlying autoimmune rheumatic diseases and applying the knowledge gained to improving the health of patients with these common disabling diseases. At the beginning of my scientific career in 1968, the aetiology and pathogenesis of these disorders was obscure but it was becoming clear that immunity and inflammation played a part. The characterisation of cytokines at the protein and DNA level in the early 1980s and their availability as tools focussed my research into investigating their role in the biology and pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In collaborative studies with Marc Feldmann using patient derived cell culture and vivo animal models the concept was established that TNF alpha played a key role in inflammation and joint damage observed in RA. In seminal clinical trials the efficacy of TNF blockade by a specific anti-TNF antibody, augmented by co-therapy with low dose methotrexate, was established and is now widely applied as a standard of care for RA. In mechanism of action studies TNF blockade was shown to impact on immune cell recruitment and angiogenesis by down regulating several cytokines, chemokines and adhesion molecules. Understanding why disease remission is rarely achieved remains a challenge for future research.

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