Our aim

The Centre consists of professors, senior and junior doctors, nurses, research co-ordinators, laboratory staff, post-graduate PhD and undergraduate students. Our overall aim and mission statement is to improve the health and well-being of adolescents and young people with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions such as lupus or myositis.

We plan to achieve this aim through working together to undertake high-quality cutting edge research to ensure the best treatments are being given to this age group and also help develop new treatments, new tests and work out what happens to young people with these conditions over time to help answer their many questions that we are asked regularly in clinic.

Team biogs

  • Professor Lucy Wedderburn


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  • Professor David Isenberg


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  • Dr Debajit Sen


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  • Coziana Ciurtin

    Principal Investigator

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  • Dr Despina Eleftheriou

    Co – Principal Investigator

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Professor Lucy WedderburnLikes swimming, cycling and singing

Research interests and role:

Working out ways to predict which medication works best for each patient

Finding out why the immune system gets “out of balance” in young people with arthritis and related diseases, and how to help the immune system get back to a healthy balance

Understanding how arthritis and myositis affects young people in the their lives as they grow in to adults

Professor David IsenbergLikes Tottenham Hotspurs, tennis and theatre

Research interests and role:

Development of Assessment tools for patients with the autoimmune rheumatic disease

Investigating the structure, function and pathological consequences of autoantibodies

Understanding the long term consequences of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases

Dr Debajit SenLikes film, music and sport

Research Interests and role:

Understanding inflammation of the spine and how this relates to the adolescent and adult skeleton

Understanding the relationship of puberty to adolescent autoimmune rheumatic disease

Understanding the long term outcomes of juvenile arthritis as young people grow into adults

Coziana Ciurtinlikes classical music, long countryside walks and travelling the world

Research interests and role:

Working out what is unique about the biology, symptoms, response to therapy and long term prognosis of young people with autoimmune rheumatic diseases

Understanding how the immune system particularities could help us select the most appropriate treatment for young people with lupus and arthritis

Conducting clinical trials in adolescent patients with in lupus and inflammatory arthritis

Understanding how useful ultrasound and MRI are for diagnosing and treating young people with arthritis

Despina EleftheriouLikes cooking, cinema and books

Research interests and role:

Long term outcomes of autoimmune diseases

Developing new tests to predict outcome, define prognosis and optimise therapy

Conducting clinical trials of new medicines in young people with inflammatory diseases

  • Dr Nicola Ambrose


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  • Nicola Daly

    Adolescent Rheumatology Clinical Nurse Specialist

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  • Yvonne Glackin

    Rheumatology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Research Nurse

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  • Sophia Mavrommatis

    Adolescent Rheumatology Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist

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  • Nazia Begum

    Transition Co-ordinator

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Dr Nicola AmbroseLikes sports, meeting friends and holidays

Research Interests and role:
Understanding the long term outcomes of juvenile arthritis as young people grow into adults
Long term outcomes of autoimmune diseases including lupus and myositis
Understanding clinical differences in young people who develop Behçet’s Syndrome
Conducting clinical trials of new medicines in young people with inflammatory diseases

Nicola DalyLikes travel, sport and animals

Role and Interests:

Interested in enabling young people to take an active role in their care, promoting self-management and independence in the transition from Paediatrics to Adolescent/Young adult care. Involved in the creation of an online forum for young people with Lupus, one of founding members of a national support group for young people with Lupus.

My current role is the Adolescent Rheumatology clinical nurse specialist for UCLH. My day to day tasks include undertaking blood monitoring, providing education, advice and support for young people with connective tissue diseases and inflammatory arthritis, arranging prescriptions for home delivery of medications, assisting on our daycare ward for patients requiring urgent review and joint injections, running nurse led clinics alongside the Rheumatology doctors. Attending transition clinics in GOSH to ensure a smooth transition of care is provided for our patients moving from paediatrics to Adolescent or Young Adult care.

Yvonne GlackinLikes afternoon teas, books and bikes

Research role and interests:

I have a fantastic role as half-time Research Nurse and half-time Clinical Nurse Specialist at Great Ormond St Hospital for Children.

I meet children, young people and their families to explain about their medical condition and advise how to manage their care. I explain about the research opportunities available to them and how it has changed the care of our patients today and I recruit and manage some of the studies.

I have a particular interest in Lupus and Juvenile Dermatomyositis and improving the transition from children’s services to adolescent care. I work with the adolescent team at UCLH to provide continued high quality care of our patients.

Sophia MavrommatisLikes hill walking, cooking and Mediterranean holidays

Research role and interests:

I am interested in the effectiveness of multidisciplinary patient management programmes in Adolescent Rheumatology, how web-based information can support young people in self management and the impact of activity and exercise in young peoples’ wellbeing and function.

I also have an interest in the concept of recovery and what recovery means to young people and their families.

Nazia BegumLikes chocolate, travelling and socialising

I support young people transition across from the Paediatrics department at Great Ormond street to the Adolescent department at University College London Hospital.

This involves introducing myself to all transition patients in both locations, providing tours for patients prior to their first appointments at UCLH, providing young people and their families with an information pack containing useful information to support their journey in transitioning.

In addition I will also be running focus groups based on service development to gain the advice and opinions from young people to further develop our adolescent rheumatology service to create one that caters to their needs.

  • Jenny Cookson

    Young People and Families Co-ordinator for Arthritis Care

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  • Polly Livermore

    Matron / NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow

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  • Dr Corinne Fisher

    ARUK Clinical Research Fellow

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  • Dr Chris Wincup

    Lupus UK Clinical Research Fellow

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  • Dr Kate Webb

    Action Research Clinical Research Fellow

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Jenny CooksonLikes chocolate, spinning and chatting with friends

Young People and Families Co-ordinator for Arthritis Care working  in partnership with the Adolescent Rheumatology team at UCL Hospital.

Helping to enhance the holistic approach to the treatment and care of  young people living with arthritis by offering support and information with the more practical challenges of living with arthritis such as prescription costs, travelling etc.

Arthritis Care also run activity weekends and family event for young people to meet up and share ideas on living with arthritis and learn new skills to help manage their arthritis.

Polly LivermoreLikes eating out, netball and reading

Research interests and role:

To improve the psychosocial health of children and young people with Juvenile Dermatomyositis across the United Kingdom.

To bring my unique paediatric rheumatology nursing background to this study to work with the Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology and to be the first Nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children to complete a National Institute Health Research PhD

Dr Corinne FisherLikes baking, gardening and holidays

Research interests and role:

Long term prognosis in young people with arthritis, in particular in those with the enthesitis related arthritis subtype (ERA)

Understanding why some young people with ERA develop arthritis of the back whilst others mainly have arthritis affecting the knees and ankles

Understanding the role of hormones on arthritis

Dr Chris WincupLikes football, music festivals and travelling

I am a rheumatology registrar in London who is now doing research into fatigue and tiredness in patients with lupus. I also see patients in the adolescent and young adult lupus clinics at UCLH. I am interested in investigating the possible causes and treatments that could be used in managing fatigue in lupus patients; especially because this is something that our patients tell us is a massive problem for them!’

Dr Kate WebbLikes mexican food, shopping and surfing

Research interests and role:

I am a paediatric rheumatologist who is doing research at the Centre, as part of her PhD. I also look after patients in the adolescent rheumatology clinic.

I am interested in why some young people develope SLE and what changes happen in the immune system during puberty to make SLE more common.

  • Dr Charris Papadopoulou

    Clinical Research Fellow

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  • Dr Timothy Bray

    Imaging Clinical Research Fellow

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  • Dr Lizzy Rosser

    ARUK Research Fellow

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  • Dr Alice Ran Cai

    Research Associate

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  • Ania Radziszewska

    Research Assistant

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Dr Charris PapadopoulouLikes travelling, coffee and swimming

Research interests and role:

I am a paediatric rheumatologist from Greece who is doing research at the Centre, as part of her PhD. I work at Great Ormond Street Hospital and look after children and adolescent patients.

I am interested in the variations in severity of the disease and to identify new treatments to allow a more ‘personalised’ approach for the treatment of JDM.

Dr Timothy BrayLikes dogs, art and reading

Research interests and role:

My research aims to develop new magnetic resonance imaging methods to diagnose, monitor and understand arthritis so that we can treat it more effectively.
This includes using imaging to identify people who would particularly benefit from treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.
I am supervised by Professor Margaret Hall-Craggs, who is an expert in magnetic resonance imaging, and by Dr John Ioannou, who is an expert in adolescent rheumatology.

Dr Lizzy RosserLikes swimming in the sea, playing the piano and her cat

Research interests and role:

Investigating how the bacteria that live in the gut affect immune responses.

Trying to understand if the bacteria that live in the gut control the development of certain white blood cells during childhood.

Focusing on whether changes in “good” bacteria may contribute to the development of childhood arthritis

Dr Alice Ran CaiLikes dancing, reading and skiing/snowboarding

Research interests and role:

I am interested in multidisciplinary research, such as how psychosocial factors and behaviours affect physical health and well-being.

I would also like to understand how to best communicate research results to the public, and what type of services, knowledge, and support are needed to improve treatments and to promote a more holistic, patient-centred healthcare system.

Currently I’m working on a project which aims to improve the management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) through the use of technology. We are working together with young people with arthritis to develop a JIA-specific smartphone application.

Ania RadziszewskaLikes chocolate, hiking and travelling

Research interests and role:

Helping to set up the first dedicated adolescent rheumatology research biobank of samples from teenage patients with autoimmune condition

Processing and storing patient blood samples and matching them with clinical information collected in a research database

Gaining better understanding of rheumatic diseases with the hope of ultimately improving patient treatment

Hannah PeckhamLikes illustration, Arsenal FC and mountains

Research interests and role:

My Masters research project at the centre focused on Rheumatoid Factor positive-Polyarticular JIA; comparing the blood antibody profiles of adolescent patients with that of adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis, to see how similar they are.

My current role involves recruiting kids and teenagers who are having surgery or blood tests at UCLH for non-rheumatic conditions, to provide us with blood samples that we can use as healthy ‘controls’ in experiments. I am passionate about increasing awareness in the general population of JIA/JSLE/JDM etc, and am keen to get more young people interested in science- particularly research!

Meredyth WilkinsonLikes cooking, singing and the great outdoors

Research interests and role:

Investigating the immune system of young people with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM).

Focusing on what role B lymphocytes play in the disease course.

To establish whether these immune pathways are distinct in childhood, adolescent and adult dermatomyositis.

George RobinsonLikes playing guitar, rugby and socialising with mates

Research interests and role:
I am a PhD student working in both adult and adolescent rheumatology; specifically looking at Lupus. I spend the majority of my time researching with patient immune cells however I also am involved in the clinical side, allowing me to experience the best of both worlds.
My research interests are to find key differences between adult and juvenile Lupus and to explore the reason for the bias of the disease towards women. This will hopefully help to find therapeutic targets specific to the age and/or sex of the patient. I am also interested in the role of lipids in disease development and how this contributes to the increased risk of cardiovascular problems in Lupus patients.

Clinical Trial CoordinatorLikes football, Gym and travelling

Research interests and role:
I Joined the Adolescent Rheumatology research team in 2017 as clinical trial coordinator. I see patients in adolescent clinics that are eligible in taking part on research trials at UCL.

I help set up, process samples, data management, overlook the finances and coordinate interventional research trials. I am also involved in coordinating all adolescent observational trials at UCL.

I hope to gain better understanding of rheumatic diseases with the hope of ultimately improving patient treatment and communicating results with the public for an enhanced patient centred service.

  • Tracy Ann Foster

    Clinical Trials Research Nurse

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  • James Wilton

    Research Manager

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Clinical Trials Research NurseGym and travelling

Adolescent Rheumatology Research Nurse qualified registered nurse 2011. My research journey started while working in Accident & Emergency and introduced to Research by a previous colleague. I became fascinated and loved what research had to offer and the science that was involved.

I wanted to be a part of making a difference in patient’s life, by not accepting but finding ways to improve their illnesses.

Research Manager


  • Prof Margaret Hall-Craggs

    Consultant Radiologist and Professor of Medical Imaging, UCLH

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Professor Margaret Hall-Craggs

Research Interests and Relevant Projects:
Over the last few years my research and clinical interests have focused on the imaging of diseases of adolescence. In particular, the imaging of young people with JIA as the disease is different from that in adults and is set on the background of rapid development and maturation of the body. For example, the normal appearances of a growing adolescent skeleton have to be distinguished from disease. I want to continue to develop a clinical and research focus around adolescent disease within our department, and therefore support Dr Tim Bray on his project.

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