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General News

Immunology Recognised With Key Research Papers

23 May 2019

Prof Tom P Gordon, Dr. Jing Jing Wang and Dr Tim Chataway have been recognised at the Year in Review Plenary Session of the 2019 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology(APLAR) Congress as authors of one of the Key Research Papers for 2018 in the field of Rheumatology and Immunology.

The article was published in August 2018 in the prestigious international journal Arthritis and Rheumatology. 

Using a novel approach called “mass spectrometry” to sequence autoantibodies directly from blood serum for the first time and identify their “molecular” signatures, the team then pioneered a method to use these as “barcodes” to track “rogue” clones over time and monitor treatment responses.

This approach found that dangerous RF clones that precipitate in tissues and cause life-threatening inflammation in skin and other organs were detectable years before their clinical presentation, and well before their detection by routine diagnostic methods. 

The data from this study suggests that these barcodes may serve as predictive markers and inform early treatment, and overall, these breakthrough findings have revolutionised diagnostic autoantibody testing and offer clear advantages in profiling and tracking pathogenic autoantibody clones in diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s Syndrome.

Other authors included SA Pathology scientist Dr. Alex Colella and collaborators at the Garvan Institute in Sydney notably Dr. Joanne Reed and Prof Chris Goodnow.

Photograph details:  Dr. Jing Wang (centre), Senior Scientist at the FMC site, Immunology, SA Pathology, with supervisors Prof. Tom Gordon (left) and Dr. Tim Chataway (right) after receiving a Vice Chancellors Investigator Award at Flinders University for her work on autoimmune diseases.