Professor Christopher Edwards, associate director

Chris EdwardsProfessor Edwards supports the facility director in providing a safe and comfortable environment for Southampton’s clinical trial participants, and has his own research interests in rheumatic diseases.


Professor Edwards is a clinical rheumatologist with research interests and expertise in the development of new therapies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Early stage research expertise

With expertise in the planning and delivery of trials in this area, including early stage trials, Chris has developed strong local and international partnerships with clinical and academic colleagues, centred on his role as clinical lead of the Southampton musculoskeletal research unit.

Research: inflammatory rheumatic diseases

Chris’ current research focusses on understanding the causes of inflammatory rheumatic diseases including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

He works closely with Southampton colleagues in bone and joint research (Prof Cyrus Cooper, Prof Nigel Arden, Prof Richard Oreffo) and immunology (Prof Tim Elliott, Dr Edd James).  

Current projects include:

  • understanding the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the United Kingdom
  • understanding the environmental causes of lupus
  • exploring genetic influences in ankylosing spondylitis
  • assessing the effect of inflammatory cytokine molecules in bioengineering strategies for healing damaged joints. 

Wider work

Professor Edwards is also working on projects looking at the epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis and the predictors of joint replacement in inflammatory rheumatic diseases as an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Oxford. 

He is a member of international committees working to produce guidelines for the best management of rheumatic diseases, leading a systematic review of guidelines for the use of radiology in the diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis for the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).


Professor Edwards moved to Southampton in 2001 following working for a year as a rheumatology consultant at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore. He attended medical school at King's College London and trained at the Hammersmith and St George's Hospitals in London. He was a registrar for Professor Graham Hughes at the St Thomas' Hospital lupus unit and then undertook a period of research as a lecturer at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Imperial College under the supervision of Professor Ravinder Maini.