Dr Costantino Pitzalis

Consultant Rheumatologist

MD, PhD, FRCP

Year qualified:1983

Specialty

Personal profile

Costantino Pitzalis is Arthritis Research UK Professor of Rheumatology at the William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London.

He qualified in medicine in Italy in 1983. In 1985, following his early clinical training, he came to the UK as a Research Fellow to the Department of Rheumatology at Guy's Hospital. Here he started his academic career carrying out research in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis for four years that lead to a PhD at the University of London.

He then went back to full time clinical training in general medicine in the UK, gaining the MRCP in 1992. He returned to the Department of Rheumatology at Guy's in 1993 as the Arthritis Research Campaign Lecturer/Senior Registrar. In 1996, he was awarded a Senior Lectureship-Career Development Award by the Wellcome Trust and in 2000 he was conferred the Chair of Experimental Rheumatology at King's College London School of Medicine.

In May 2007 Professor Pitzalis was recruited to Barts and The London School of Medicine to head the new Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology.  In July 2008 he was appointed Director of the Musculoskeletal Clinical Academic Unit by Barts and the London NHS Trust combining academic and clinical duties to integrate research into service delivery to improve patient care and in compliance with Department of Health policy: “best research for best health”.

In 2016, he was appointed Deputy Director of the William Harvey Research Institute. In November 2018, he was appointed Chair of the NIHR (NOCRI) Joint & Inflammatory Related Diseases Translational Research Collaboration.

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)
  • Member Heberden Committee, British Society for Rheumatology (BSR)
  • Member Research Grant Committee:  Arthritis Research UK
  • Board Member Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN) Central & East London - National Institute Health Research (NIHR)
  • Member Academic Board William Harvey Research Institute
  • Member of R&D Clinical Research Board - Barts and The London School of Medicine & NHS Trust
  • Member of Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Executive Board Member of GRAPPA (Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis)
  • PhD Examiner University of London
  • Member of the British Society for Rheumatology
  • International Fellow of American College of Rheumatology
  • Member of the British Society of Immunology

Clinical Interests

His clinical interests encompass general rheumatology with a focus on immune/inflammatory rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis as well as other autoimmune rheumatic conditions (CTDs & Sjogren’s Syndrome) and osteoarthritis.

He has personally led the development from scratch of the Barts Inflammatory Arthritis Centre supported by 5 Academic Consultants, 4 Clinical Fellows, 3 Research Nurses, 1 Bioinformatician, 1 Biostatistician, 1 IT & 1 Clinical Trials Manager and state-of-the-art 3D ultrasound technology.

 

Teaching and Training

His main interest is in postgraduate education, significantly contributing to forming the next generation of rheumatologists by providing mentoring and support to Specialist Registrars in pursuing research/postgraduate qualifications. He is currently sponsoring 5 Clinical Fellows recipients of Versus Arthritis and NIHR Fellowships and supervisor of 12 PhD Students (6 clinical) enhancing NHS research capacity. In the past he has supervised 23 PhDs to success.

Research

Professor Pitzalis' major research interests focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation and autoimmunity in chronic arthritis with particular emphasis on translational research. He leads a research team of approximately 50 researchers (clinicians and scientists). He has produced research of international standing with over 240 publications in the field of inflammation, immunity and arthritis.

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