- 9 May 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tuesday 9 May, 2.00 pm
Auditorium, Level 6, Bancroft, QIMR Berghofer
Beyond anti-TNF therapy for rheumatoid arthritis: can we get closer to a cure?
Professor Sir Marc Feldmann, AC
University of Oxford, UK
Initial studies in medicine at University of Melbourne were followed by a PhD with Sir Gus Nossal at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, on in vitro immune responses and immune regulation. Subsequent work in London led to the generation of a new hypothesis for mechanisms of autoimmunity linking upregulated antigen presentation and cytokine expression. Testing this hypothesis led to the discovery with colleague Ravinder Maini of the pivotal role of TNFαλπηα in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, which was established by studying synovial cultures, animal models and then clinical trials. This major discovery has revolutionized therapy not only of RA but other chronic inflammatory diseases, and also helped change the perception of monoclonal antibodies from niche products to main stream therapeutics. This has led to election to the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences USA and the Australian Academy of Science, and major International prizes including the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award , the European Inventor of the year (Lifetime achievement) and Canada Gairdner Award. Current interests are to work with colleagues to define new treatments for major unmet medical needs, eg fibrosis, fractures and atherosclerosis using a cytokine approach. The other major interest is continuing work towards more cost-effective therapy of RA, and importantly trying to get closer to a cure. From 2002 to 2014 he was Director of the Kennedy Institute, first at Imperial College, and then in the University of Oxford.