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Department of Pathology


Dr Joe Hutton, a rheumatologist and PhD student, has been awarded a prestigious Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) prize for his groundbreaking research on understanding the role of mononuclear phagocytes and what governs their homing to synovial tissue in psoriatic arthritis. His research is supervised by Dr Naomi McGovern (Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology) and Professor Charlotte Summers (Department of Medicine).


Building upon Dr McGovern's extensive research exploring mononuclear phagocytes across a range of human tissues, Joe's research reveals a new population of pre-osteoclast cells in the bloodstream that are expanded in psoriatic arthritis and are enriched for molecules that target them to joint tissue. Joe's research utilises a novel approach to identify new blood subsets and link their abnormal tissue homing profile found in vitro to functional behaviour in real patients using cutting-edge imaging studies. By understanding what makes these cells move into the joints and what they do there, we hope to find ways to stop them from entering when they shouldn't. This could lead to new tests for diseases or treatments for patients.


Joe commented on the award, "I am thrilled and honoured to receive this award from CSAR. Psoriatic arthritis, a common immune-mediated inflammatory arthritis, affects about one in three people with the common skin condition psoriasis. This disease significantly impacts patients, the NHS, and wider society. No biomarkers are available for diagnostic tests or predicting which psoriasis patients will develop joint involvement. Despite multiple treatment options, 50% of patients suffer permanent joint damage within two years of diagnosis. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms driving immune cells into the joints and their activities within joint tissue. Our goal is to find methods to prevent inappropriate immune cell infiltration. This could pave the way for new diagnostic tests, such as those involving our newly discovered cell population, or innovative treatments targeting the key molecules involved in this pathological immune cell recruitment."


Dr. Naomi McGovern, his supervisor, said of the award, "I am delighted that Joe's hard work and exciting findings have been recognised with this prestigious award. His findings have important translational potential as we try to find more effective therapies to treat psoriatic arthritis."


Joe's work is funded by a highly competitive MRC clinical research training fellowship and the Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT). Working with Dr McGovern and Professor Summers, he aims to complete his specialist clinical training and continue to explore immune cell infiltration into healthy and diseased tissues through clinical lectureships. 


For more information on Joe Hutton's research and the McGovern lab, visit: and