Professor Chris Buckley


Professor Chris Buckley focusses on understanding the immunobiology of the stromal microenvironment, a key therapeutic target for both chronic inflammatory conditions and cancer.

Kennedy Professor of Translational Rheumatology, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Director of the Birmingham NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility


UoB profile


Background and Research focus

Chris Buckley is the Kennedy Professor of Translational Rheumatology at the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford. He also serves as Director of Clinical Research at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in Oxford and Director of NIHR Infrastructure for Birmingham Heath Partners. He oversees the Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP) which aims to deliver “stratified pathology” in a range of immune mediated inflammatory diseases in order to select the right disease indication for the right drug. This strategy complements stratified medicine where the objective is to select the right drug for the right patient.

Professor Buckley and his group are interested in examining the contribution of tissue resident stromal cells such as macrophages, endothelial cells and fibroblasts in inflammation and the tumour microenvironment. In chronic inflammation the resolution stage is extended and disordered resulting in the persistent accumulation of the inflammatory infiltrate. Their work has led to the proposal that tissue resident fibroblasts orchestrate and maintain the inflammatory infiltrate. In addition, recent studies in human lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer have unequivocally provided a key role for stromal cells (cancer associated fibroblasts) in tumour initiation and progression.  Hence, stromal cells represent a highly attractive and novel set of organ specific targets to treat chronic inflammatory diseases and human malignancies. 



Chronic inflammatory diseases; tumour microenvironment; stromal cells; inflammation; fibroblast; rheumatoid arthritis.


Other activities

Chris serves as a Director of the Rheumatology Research Group which comprises >50 scientists, clinicians and academic staff who focus specifically on translational research in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome (2008-present). He is also the Director of NIHR Infrastructure for Birmingham Health Partners which provides a partnership between the University and NHS partners. In this role he is responsible for helping to co-ordinate bids to the NIHR. Chris has made substantial contributions to scientific administration as a Member of external advisory boards for academic institutes and government organizations in the Netherlands in USA and Canada. Finally, he is the Editor in Chief of Arthritis Research and Therapy.




Buckley CD, McGettrick HM. Leukocyte trafficking between stromal compartments: lessons from rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2018 Jul 12. doi: 10.1038/s41584-018-0042-4. [Epub ahead of print] Review.



Huang HY, Rivas-Caicedo A, Renevey F, Cannelle H, Peranzoni E, Scarpellino L,  Hardie DL, Pommier A, Schaeuble K, Favre S, Vogt TK, Arenzana-Seisdedos F, Schneider P, Buckley CD, Donnadieu E, Luther SA. Identification of a new subset of lymph node stromal cells involved in regulating plasma cell homeostasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jul 2. pii: 201712628. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1712628115.[Epub ahead of print]



Chihara N, Madi A, Kondo T, Zhang H, Acharya N, Singer M, Nyman J, Marjanovic  ND, Kowalczyk MS, Wang C, Kurtulus S, Law T, Etminan Y, Nevin J, Buckley CD, Burkett PR, Buenrostro JD, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Anderson AC, Regev A, Kuchroo VK. Induction and transcriptional regulation of the co-inhibitory gene module in T cells. Nature. 2018 Jun;558(7710):454-459. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0206-z. Epub 2018 Jun 13



Hardy RS, Fenton C, Croft AP, Naylor AJ, Begum R, Desanti G, Buckley CD, Lavery G, Cooper MS, Raza K. 11 Beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 regulates synovitis, joint destruction, and systemic bone loss in chronic polyarthritis. J Autoimmun. 2018 Jun 8. pii: S0896-8411(18)30232-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2018.05.010. [Epub ahead of print]



Karouzakis E, Raza K, Kolling C, Buckley CD, Gay S, Filer A, Ospelt C. Analysis of early changes in DNA methylation in synovial fibroblasts of RA patients before diagnosis. Sci Rep. 2018 May 9;8(1):7370. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24240-2. 



Crowley T, Buckley CD, Clark AR. Stroma: the forgotten cells of innate immune memory. Clin Exp Immunol. 2018 Jul;193(1):24-36. doi: 10.1111/cei.13149. Review.



Sahbudin I, Pickup L, Nightingale P, Allen G, Cader Z, Singh R, de Pablo P, Buckley CD, Raza K, Filer A. The role of ultrasound-defined tenosynovitis and synovitis in the prediction of rheumatoid arthritis development. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2018 Apr 3. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/key025. [Epub ahead of print]



Falconer J, Murphy AN, Young SP, Clark AR, Tiziani S, Guma M, Buckley CD. Synovial Cell Metabolism and Chronic Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Jul;70(7):984-999. doi: 10.1002/art.40504. Epub 2018 Jun 4. Review.



Mizoguchi F, Slowikowski K, Wei K, Marshall JL, Rao DA, Chang SK, Nguyen HN, Noss EH, Turner JD, Earp BE, Blazar PE, Wright J, Simmons BP, Donlin LT, Kalliolias GD, Goodman SM, Bykerk VP, Ivashkiv LB, Lederer JA, Hacohen N, Nigrovic PA, Filer A, Buckley CD, Raychaudhuri S, Brenner MB. Functionally distinct disease-associated fibroblast subsets in rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Commun. 2018 Feb 23;9(1):789. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-02892-y.



Mandelin AM 2nd, Homan PJ, Shaffer AM, Cuda CM, Dominguez ST, Bacalao E, Carns M, Hinchcliff M, Lee J, Aren K, Thakrar A, Montgomery AB, Bridges SL Jr, Bathon JM, Atkinson JP, Fox DA, Matteson EL, Buckley CD, Pitzalis C, Parks D, Hughes LB, Geraldino-Pardilla L, Ike R, Phillips K, Wright K, Filer A, Kelly S,Ruderman EM, Morgan V, Abdala-Valencia H, Misharin AV, Budinger GS, Bartom ET, Pope RM, Perlman H, Winter DR. Transcriptional Profiling of Synovial Macrophages Using Minimally Invasive Ultrasound-Guided Synovial Biopsies in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Jun;70(6):841-854. doi: 10.1002/art.40453. Epub 2018 May 3.