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Last updated:18th July 2016

NASS Medical Advisors

NASS have a team of medical advisors who help inform all our work. Our Medical Advisory board is Chaired by Dr Karl Gaffney.

Dr Karl Gaffney (Chair)

Dr Karl Gaffney (MB, BCh, BAO Hons, FRCPI, FRCP) has been a Consultant Rheumatologist in Norwich since 1995 where he has established a large multidisciplinary service for over 1000 patients with axial spondyloarthritis (including ankylosing spondylitis).He is an honorary reader at Norwich Medical School and has also been Clinical Directorfor Rheumatology since 2008. He is chairman of the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) axial SpA Biologics Guidelines Committee, founder member and treasurer of BRITSpA (www.britspa.co.uk), an invited member of the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society (www.asas-group.org) and the ARUK SpA Clinical Studies Group. He has also represented the BSR and NASSat the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) appraisal of biological therapies since 2007.He was Director of Postgraduate Education in Norwich between 1999 and 2005, and Director of Rheumatology Training, Eastern Deanery between 2001 and 2007. 

With NASS he has co-developed primary and secondary care educational programmes for healthcare professionals including Back Pain Seminars, Meeting in a Box, Back in Focus, Solving Spondyloarthritis and Back Pain Plus. These initiatives have been awarded national and European awards for excellence in healthcare communication.

His current research interests include epidemiology, dose optimisation and extra-articular manifestations of axial SpA. He oversees a large clinical trials programme and collaborates with other national and international centres. He has published more than 100 papers and has been an invited speaker at national and international meetings.

Rheumatologist Advisors

Dr Alexander Bennett

Dr Alexander Bennett is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds and at Imperial College London. His main area of clinical rheumatology and research interest is spondyloarthritis. His PhD was in diagnostic and prognostic imaging in spondyloarthritis and he has published and lectured at national and international conferences in this area. He is a member of International Society of Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) and is part of the ASAS MRI working Group.

Dr Andrew Keat

Dr Keat is Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist at Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals NHS Trust; Honorary Consultant Physician at Hammersmith Hospitals Trust and Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology at St Mary's Hospital NHS Trust.

He has received many prestigious awards throughout his career; is a member of various learned societies and economic bodies; and has lectured extensively and written widely on AS. He was co-author of the NASS report "Looking Ahead: Best practice for the care of people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS)".

Dr Helena Marzo-Ortega

Dr Marzo-Ortega is a Consultant Rheumatologist for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Leeds. She is the Clinical Lead of the Spondyloarthropathy service at the Section of Musculoskeletal Disease and the Clinical Lead for the MSK Specialty Group of the West Yorkshire UKCRN CLRN.

Her main areas of interest are within the field of early arthritis, undifferentiated arthritis and spondyloarthritis including Psoriatic arthritis, with a special focus on the role of imaging biomarkers and biologic therapies. She currently combines her clinical activity with an active membership of different working groups within the ASAS/OMERACT MRI group, EULAR and BSR.

Dr Raj Sengupta

Dr Raj Sengupta is a Consultant Rheumatologist at The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath (RNRHD) and The BMI Bath Clinic in Bath. Dr Sengupta completed his specialty training in Bath and Bristol. His specialist and research interests are in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and he has published on the subject in peer reviewed international journals.

Dr Sengupta is the Lead Consultant for AS at the RNHRD. He is Co Chair of the BSR Spondyloarthritis Special Interest Group, member of the ARUK Spondyloarthropathies Clinical Studies Group and has memberships with the Royal College of Physicians, British Society for Rheumatology, Medical Protection Society, National Osteoporosis Society and the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Stefan Siebert

Dr Siebert is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Glasgow and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Dr Siebert previously worked as a Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology at Swansea University before moving to Glasgow in September 2012. His specialist clinical and research interests include spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, clinical trials and using electronic healthcare data for research. He is a member of the Arthritis Research UK Spondyloarthropathy Clinical Specialty Group, the current chair of the Arthritis Research UK Progress Review Committee, and on the Executive Steering committees of both BRIT-SpA and BRIT-PACT (British SpA and PsA societies, respectively).  

Professor Paul Wordsworth

Paul Wordsworth qualified in medicine in 1975 and trained in general internal medicine in London prior to specialist training in rheumatology in 1981. He completed training in the Oxford Region where he was appointed to a Senior Research Fellowship and Honorary Consultant position in 1987. Subsequently, he was appointed Clinical Reader in Rheumatology in 1992 and elected to a Personal Chair in 1998.

He has been a Fellow of Green Templeton College since 1992. His main research interests are in the genetic basis of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, ranging from rare monogenic developmental disorders through to common polygenic diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 original papers.

He has run the clinical trials unit at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford for the past 10 years, including several studies of biologic agents in AS. He is a founder member of two major research consortia for AS, the International Genetics of AS (IGAS) and the Australo-Anglo-American (Triple A) Spondylitis Consortium (TASC).

Dr. Athimalaipet Ramanan (Paediatric Rheumatologist)

Dr Ramanan did his initial paediatric rheumatology training in Manchester including a MSc in Clinical Rheumatology at the University of Manchester and his Fellowship in Paed. Rheumatology at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

He is a consultant paediatric rheumatologist at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease's in Bath. His Unit currently provides a service for the entire South West of England and parts of South Wales. They do outreach clinics in Exeter, Taunton, Torbay, Salisbury and Swansea. He has published more than 25 papers in peer reviewed international journals.

His current research focus is on immunogenetics of systemic onset juvenile arthritis, macrophage activation syndrome and juvenile dermatomyositis. he is the Associate Editor for the musculoskeletal section of the National Library of Health.

Colin Beevor RN (Rheumatology Nurse Advisor)

Colin is Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist for Rheumatology Services and Matron/ Service Manager for Musculoskeletal Services (Rheumatology, Spinal Services and Chronic Pain Clinic) at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

He has 17 years experience in rheumatology nursing and a wide range of nursing management at ward, outpatient, and clinical nurse specialist levels. In 2009 Colin joined the RCN Rheumatology Forum as committee member and also sits on the medical and health care professional advisory boards for Arthritis Care and Fibromyalgia

Claire Harris (Physiotherapy Advisor)

Claire qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 1984 at St Mary's Hospital, London. She worked as a junior physiotherapist before moving to Northwick Park Hospital, West London in 1987 initially as a Senior II in Orthopaedics, and then moving to a Senior I position in Rheumatology where she developed her interest in AS patients whilst running the local NASS group.

Following a career break, Claire returned to Northwick Park Hospital in 1996 where she is a part-time Senior Physiotherapist in the AS clinic and runs the local NASS group. Her current responsibilities include the assessment of AS patients being treated with anti-TNF and AS education groups. Claire is also Chair of AStretch, a group of UK physiotherapists that steer the management and improve the understanding of AS.

Dr Daniel Murphy (GP Advisor)

Dr Murphy works both as a rheumatologist at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, and a GP in Honiton, a rural town in Devon.  His clinical interests are in spondyloarthropathy and sports medicine, and in improving communication between hospital rheumatology specialists and General Practitioners. He has an active interest in the field of spondyloarthritis research, and was a co-author of the recent BSR guideline in the use of biologic drugs in axial spondyloarthritis.

Clare Clark (Occupational Therapy Advisor)

Clare graduated in 1999 and is an Advanced Practitioner in Occupational Therapy.  She works in The Centre for Long Term Condition Management in Bronllys Hospital, Powys Teaching Health Board, Brecon, Wales.  Clare specialises in the bio-psychosocial approach. She has a particular interest in AS and the impact that living with this condition has on an individual.  She has written articles and lectured on this at various local and national Conferences.  Her previous roles have included developing a Therapy Led AS clinic; she is the Welsh Rep for the College of OT Rheumatology Special Interest Group and is also a member of BHPR.  

Dr Andre Calin (NASS Vice President)

Following a distinguished career in rheumatology, Dr Calin retired on medical grounds from the RNHRD in 2002 and now consults privately.

During his career he won 12 prizes, scholarships and awards; held honorary and scholastic memberships of 9 national and international medical boards; has served on over 20 committees and editorial boards; has produced chapters in many books; has been editor of two important textbooks on AS; and has written over 300 original and review articles and abstracts on AS.


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