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Nigel Arden


Professor in Rheumatic Diseases

  • Lead of Musculoskeletal Epidemiology
  • Theme Leader Epidemiology Oxford Biomedical Research Unit
  • Deputy Director of ARUK Sports, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Centre of Excellence
  • Fellow at the Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

Nigel Arden trained at St Thomas's Hospital, London, where he also completed four years of research into the genetics of osteoporosis. During this time, he gained an MSc in Epidemiology and an MD. He moved to the South Coast in 1996 and in 1998 spent six months as Visiting Assistant Professor in Epidemiology at the University of San Francisco. In February 2000 he commenced as Consultant Rheumatologist at Southampton General Hospital, and Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Southampton. In April 2008 Nigel moved to his present post as Professor in Rheumatic Diseases and Consultant Rheumatologist, NDORMS, University of Oxford.

My research interests focus on the Epidemiology of Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis. I am based in the Botnar Research Centre, at the University of Oxford with additional sessions at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton.

I lead a large research programme into Osteoarthritis, split between the two university sites, that has several major strands: (a) The risk factors of Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis and lower limb Arthroplasty; (b) Clinical trials in the management of common musculoskeletal conditions; (c) personalised medicine in the treatment of musculoskeletal disease and (d) The role of sport and physical activity in health, especially musculoskeletal health.

It has already provided new Epidemiological insights into Osteoarthritis from the effect of the early environment to treatments for established disease. We have demonstrated, for the first time, that the early environment programs Osteoarthritis and that these environmental factors interact with the genome. I have performed several large multicentre clinical trials to define the benefit of Intra-Articular Therapies in the treatment of Knee OA. I have also been part of EULAR and OARSI working groups to produce new definitions and treatment guidelines for disease.

Expanding research programmes are based around:

  • The complex genetic and environmental influences on Osteoarthritis and more importantly their interaction
  • The epidemiology of knee and hip Osteoarthritis
  • The epidemiology and survival of total joint replacements in Osteoarthritis
  • The role of sport and exercise in Osteoarthritis
  • Predicting outcome of patients with Osteoarthritis
  • Personalized medicine and prevention of chronic diseases
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