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Rheumatism is a non-specific term used to describe any painful disorder affecting the loco-motor system including joints, muscles, connective tissues and soft tissues around the joints and bones. Rheumatologic disorders include ageing-related pathologies such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or spondyloarthropaties, and a number of systemic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Behcet´s disease and others. Rheumatic and autoimmune diseases have a huge socioeconomic impact, given the high prevalence or morbidity of some of them. Furthermore, they present several currently unmet medical needs: their early diagnosis is often difficult, they have a challenging heterogeneous clinical course and treatment choices are not yet personalized.

The general objective of the RAD-HPP initiative is the generation of new knowledge on proteins involved in prognostic, therapeutic, and physiopathological issues taking place in rheumatic and autoimmune diseases. This will allow improving our diagnostic and prognostic capacity, exploring potential therapeutic biomarkers, and obtaining basic knowledge on alternative disease pathogenesis not presently addressed by current therapies. As a strategic goal, this newly launched initiative aims to improve the research capacity of the groups working in RAD, as well as to facilitate the cooperative research in this area through the development of networking activities.

Current line of work:

  • Expand the visibility and membership of RAD-HPP
  • Definition of the proteome of human joint tissues: cartilage, synovial membrane, meniscus and subchondral bone.
  • Definition of protein lists relevant in the physiology of the joint and systemic autoimmune processes.
  • To assemble prioritized lists of proteins clinically relevant in RAD.
  • To boost the development of quantitative proteomics assays for their analysis:
    -Targeted MS Kits for MRM analysis.
    -Ab-based approaches. Protein arrays.
  • To further characterize proteins as biomarkers useful for patient stratification and therapeutic management, etc.
  • Development of tools for PTMs that drive autoimmunity, and facilitate their use in understanding physiological and pathological roles.
  • To understand the link between autoimmunity and heightened cardiovascular risk.


What did we learn from “omics” studies in osteoarthritis. Ruiz-Romero C, Rego-Perez I, Blanco FJ. Current Opinion in Rheumatology 30(1):114-120. 2018.

Precision Profiling of the Cardiovascular Post-translational Modified Proteome: Where there is a will, there is a way Circulation Research. J. Fert-Bober, C.I. Murray, S. Parker, JE. Van Eyk. 2018 Apr 27;122(9):1221-1237

Differences in protein expression using data-dependent and data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry in the analysis of human knee articular cartilage and menisci: a pilot analysis Folkesson, E., Turkiewicz, A., Englund, M., and Önnerfjord, P. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders Nov 29;19(1):416 (2018

Autoantibody profiling reveals four protein candidate autoantigens associated with systemic lupus erythematosus. J Frostegård, C Hellström, P Nilsson, A G Frostegård, S Ajeganova (2018)  Lupus 27(10):1670-1678 Sep.

Two subgroups in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus with Features of Antiphospholipid or Sjögren's Syndrome, differ in molecular signatures and treatment perspectives. Helena Idborg; Arash Zandian; AnnSofi Sandberg; Bo Nilsson; Kerstin Elvin; Lennart Truedsson; Azita Sohrabian; Johan Rönnelid; John Mo; Giorgia Grosso; Marika Kvarnström; Iva Gunnarsson; Janne Lehtiö; Peter Nilsson; Elisabet Svenungsson; Per-Johan Jakobsson (2019) Arthritis Research & Therapy, in press 201921:62

Past Events:

  • XII Congress of the European Proteomics Association (EuPA). Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 16-20 June 2018.
  • 2018 HUPO Congress. Orlando, EEUU. 30 Sep-3 Oct 2018.
  • Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Sessions (BCVS) Summer 2018.
  • The American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) June 2018. San Diego, USA.
  • 2018 Annual Symposium of the Swedish Proteomics Society, Lund, Sweden, 2-3 December 2018
  • Italian Proteomics Association XIII Annual conference Como Sep 5-7, 2018


Francisco J. Blanco, Chair

Paul J. Utz, Co-chair

For more information or participation opportunities please contact office(at)

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