St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation

Professor Marissa Lassere – 2019 SSMRF Grant Recipient

The gut microbiome in inflammatory arthritis.

Amount Funded: $34,599.10

Project Description: The microbiome refers to the millions of bacteria which can live harmoniously in the human body, such as, in the gut. The purpose of this study is to determine if the gut microbiome influences the course and outcome of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis in both Australian Caucasian and Australian Chinese populations. We will evaluate whether there is a specific gut microbiome (determined from stool samples) in these different conditions and population groups and whether these gut microbiomes differ from the gut microbiome of healthy people. We will evaluate whether successful drug treatment of these conditions changes the gut microbiome towards normal. We will evaluate whether the gut microbiome is different in patients who respond to different treatments versus those who do not respond, or who develop certain side effects of these treatments. We will evaluate how much of effect diet and complementary medicines have on the gut microbiome. Our research findings may help doctors treat patients with inflammatory arthritis.


Professor Marissa Lassere

Professor Lassere is a Rheumatologist who in 2002 co-founded the Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD), an on-going long-term safety national database of patients on biologic treatments for rheumatic conditions. She is chief investigator on a 2017 Australian Arthritis & Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative, which adds a biobank arm to ARAD. She has a unique expertise in Clinimetrics – patient-reported measures, clinical measures, and imaging measures. She has been a member of International Biometric Society, International Society for Bayesian Analysis, International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, Health Informatics Society of Australia, American Medical Informatics Society, and Society for Clinical Trials. She brings extensive statistical expertise to the MRC.

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