Our Research

Our Research

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Contact Details

  Street address:
Level 11, KGV Building
Missenden Road
Postal address:
Post Office Box M30
Missenden Road NSW 2050

Phone: (02) 9515-6111
Fax: (02) 9515-9610

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Our Research

The RPAH Rheumatology Department strives to deliver world-class clinical care, supported by active epidemiological, clinical, translational and basic science research. Our research programs aim to accelerate the transition of research discoveries into clinical practice and cover a variety of autoimmune and crystal joint diseases, connective tissue disease, soft tissue injuries, metabolic bone disease, pain management, stem cell therapies, use of musculoskeletal ultrasound as well as evaluating innovative technologies for patient care and medical education. Knowing that patients in clinical trials do better, and to ensure our patients have access to cutting edge treatments and technology we have the ultimate aim of being able to offer all patients attending our clinics entry into a clinical trial.

Currently our active clinical trial programs include phase IIa, IIb, III and IV national and international multicenter randomized controlled trials. We are also in the process of entering an exciting collaboration with the University of Sydney to create a new multidisciplinary Sydney Local Health District Musculoskeletal Research Unit. By bringing together over fifty musculoskeletal researchers we will be able to answer important clinical questions with high quality trials.

Key Achievements

  • Establishment of the new Multidisciplinary SLHD Musculoskeletal Research Institute with Director, Professor Chris Maher and Deputy Director, Dr Bethan Richards.
  • As members of the Executive Steering Committee, Prof Maher and Dr Richards have also led the establishment of Australian and New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network (ANSMUSC)
  • Dr Richards has continued her collaborations with the 3e Network, Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD), OMERACT, Therapeutic Guidelines, Medicine Today and Cochrane publishing multiple systematic reviews, as well as national and international guidelines on pain management in patients with inflammatory arthritis. She was also the first to describe the high prevalence of opioid use in these patients, contrary to evidence based practice.
  • Professor Youssef has continued to lead the commercial clinical trials program, with international multicenter trials evaluating the latest developments including mesenchymal stem cells, new biologic agents, and new targeted small molecule therapies. He has also continued his research collaboration with the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group.

Research Staff

  • Dr Bethan Richards, Head of Department and Deputy Director of SLHD Musculoskeletal Research Institute
  • Prof Peter Youssef, Staff Specialist Rheumatologist and Principle Investigator on multiple clinical trials
  • A/Prof McGill, VMO Rheumatologist and Lead of the Synovial Fluid Quality Assurance Program
  • Prof Jane Bleasel, Rheumatologist and Co-Director of Sydney Medical Program. Current supervisor of PHD student.
  • Prof Inam Haq, Rheumatologist and Co-Director of Sydney Medical Program
  • Sr Louise Brooks, Research Assistant
  • Sr Dorothy Fowler, Clinical Nurse Consultant

Higher Degree Students:


  • Dr Bethan Richards
  • Dr Adelle Jee,

Publications and Presentations

Publication Details:
  1. Singh JA, Dohm M, Sprowson AP, Wall PD, Richards BL, Gossec L, Hawker GA, Riddle DL, Buchbinder R. Outcome Domains and Measures in Total Joint Replacement Clinical Trials: Can We Harmonize Them? An OMERACT Collaborative Initiative. J Rheumatol. 2015 Dec;42(12):2496-502. doi:10.3899/jrheum.141201.
  2. Terslev L, Iagnocco A, Bruyn GA, Naredo E, Vojinovic J, Collado P, Damjanov N, Filer A, Filippou G, Finzel S, Gandjbakhch F, Ikeda K, Keen HI, Kortekaas MC, Magni-Manzoni S, Ohrndorf S, Pineda C, Ravagnani V, Richards B, Sahbudin I, Schmidt WA, Siddle HJ, Stoenoiu MS, Szkudlarek M, Tzaribachev N, D'Agostino MA; OMERACT Ultrasound Group. The OMERACT Ultrasound Group: A Report from the OMERACT 2016 Meeting and Perspectives. J Rheumatol. 2017 Feb 1. pii: jrheum.161240. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.161240
  3. Buchbinder R, Page MJ, Huang H, Verhagen AP, Beaton D, Kopkow C, Lenza M, Jain NB, Richards B, Richards P, Voshaar M, van der Windt D, Gagnier JJ; for the Shoulder Core Outcome Set Special Interest Group. A Preliminary Core Domain Set for Clinical Trials of Shoulder Disorders: A Report from the OMERACT 2016 Shoulder Core Outcome Set Special Interest Group. J Rheumatol. 2017 Jan 15. pii: jrheum.161123. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.161123. PMID: 28089972
  4. Hao Y, Hudson M, Baron M, Carreira P, Stevens W, Rabusa C, Tatibouet S, Carmona L, Joven BE, Huq M, Proudman S, Nikpour M; Canadian Scleroderma Research Group.; Australian Scleroderma Interest Group. Early mortality in a multinational systemic sclerosis inception cohort. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Dec 28. doi: 10.1002/art.40027. PMID: 28029745
  5. Boulos D, Ngian GS, Rajadurai A, Elford K, Stevens W, Proudman S, Owen C, Roddy J, Nikpour M, Youssef P, Hill C, Sahhar J. Long-term efficacy and tolerability of mycophenolate mofetil therapy in diffuse scleroderma skin disease. Int J Rheum Dis. 2017 Mar 24. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13035. PMID: 28337853
  6. Thakkar V, Stevens W, Prior D, Rabusa C, Sahhar J, Walker JG, Roddy J, Lester S, Rischmueller M, Zochling J, Nash P, Gabbay E, Youssef P, Proudman SM, Nikpour M. The role of asymmetric dimethylarginine alone and in combination with N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide as a screening biomarker for systemic sclerosis-related pulmonary arterial hypertension: a case control study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2016 Sep-Oct;34 Suppl 100(5):129-136. Epub 2016 May 23. PMID: 27214686
  7. Owen C, Ngian GS, Elford K, Moore O, Stevens W, Nikpour M, Rabusa C, Proudman S, Roddy J, Zochling J, Hill C, Sturgess A, Tymms K, Youssef P, Sahhar J. Mycophenolate mofetil is an effective and safe option for the management of systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease: results from the Australian Scleroderma Cohort Study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2016 Sep-Oct;34 Suppl 100(5):170-176. Epub 2016 Mar 24. PMID: 27049330
  8. Jee AS, Bleasel JF, Adelstein S, Keir GJ, Corte TJ. A call for uniformity in implementing the IPAF (interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features) criteria. Eur Respir J. 2016 Dec;48(6):1811-1813. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01259-2016. No abstract available. PMID: 27903692
  9. Arnold MH, Bleasel J, Haq I. Nocebo effects in practice: methotrexate myths and misconceptions. Med J Aust. 2016 Nov 21;205(10):440-442. No abstract available. PMID: 27852171
  10. Bleasel J, Burgess A, Weeks R, Haq I. Feedback using an ePortfolio for medicine long cases: quality not quantity. BMC Med Educ. 2016 Oct 21;16(1):278. PMID: 27769240
  11. Corbett EJ, Pentony P, McGill NW. Int J Rheum Dis. Achieving serum urate targets in gout: an audit in a gout-oriented rheumatology practice. 2017 Feb 16. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13032. PMID: 28205336

Book Chapters:
  1. Richards B. Therapeutic Guidelines eTG complete - Rheumatology 3.
  2. Richards B and March L. Treating to Target



  1. Richards B. Controversies in Tendinopathies. Australian and New Zealand Rheumatology Association National Scientific Meeting, Darwin 2016
  2. Richards B. Pain Management in Inflammatory Arthritis. Australian and New Zealand Rheumatology Association National Scientific Meeting, Darwin 2016.

Contact details for department

Head of Department: Dr Bethan Richards

Department/Unit: Rheumatology
Level 4 QEII Building
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Camperdown NSW 2050
Telephone: (02) 9515 9337
Facsimile: (02) 9515 9466
Web: http://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/research/
Email: bethan.richards@health.nsw.gov.au