Dr Carla Cohen
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory arthritis affecting 1-2% of people in the UK. It is a polygenic disease, with over 40 associated genetic loci identified by genome-wide association studies. My research focus is to determine which particular single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) play a causative role in the pathogenesis of AS. We have performed comprehensive epigenomic profiling of lymphocyte populations in AS patients and healthy controls. We are now analysing these data to identify how differential chromatin regions are linked to loci that are genetically associated with AS. Understanding these regulatory mechanisms may lead to the development of novel therapies for this debilitating condition.
I completed my DPhil at Oxford and went on to a postdoctoral position with Prof Dixie Mager, where I studied regulatory elements involving transposable elements, in Vancouver, Canada. During that time I developed an interest in epigenetic regulation which led me to return to Oxford and join Prof Wordsworth’s research group. In 2019 I joined Julian Knight's research team.
I am funded on a grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and recently obtained awards from the University of Oxford Returning Carers’ Fund and the COVID Rebuilding Research Momentum Fund.
Twitter: @DrCarlaCohen @KnightGenetics
Perspectives on the Genetic Associations of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Wordsworth BP. et al, (2021), Frontiers in Immunology, 12
Functional Genomic Analysis of a
Polymorphism Associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis
Vecellio M. et al, (2020), Arthritis & Rheumatology
A RUNX3 enhancer polymorphism associated with ankylosing spondylitis influences recruitment of Interferon Regulatory Factor 5 and factors of the Nucleosome Remodelling Deacetylase Complex in CD8+ T-cells
Vecellio M. et al, (2019)
The severity of ankylosing spondylitis and responses to anti-tumour necrosis factor biologics are not influenced by the tumour necrosis factor receptor polymorphism incriminated in multiple sclerosis
Watts L. et al, (2019), Genes & Immunity, 20, 167 - 171
Quantifying the genetic risk for the development of axial spondyloarthropathy
Wordsworth BP. et al, (2018), Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 30, 319 - 323