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Martha K. Cathcart

Dr Helen L. Wright.

Cathcart Laboratory

University of Liverpool
Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease
William Henry Duncan Building
West Derby Street
Liverpool UK
L7 8TX

Tel: +44 151 795 4457


About the Laboratory
I am a Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellow at the University of Liverpool, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease. My group is part of the Department of Musculoskeletal Biology. I have a special interest in the role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases, with a focus on identifying neutrophil-derived biomarkers for the development of a personalised medicine approach to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). My research combines transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics with functional laboratory studies to provide unprecedented insight into the role of neutrophils in RA.

Working closely with clinicians at University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, I have identified and validated potential neutrophil-derived biomarkers of response and non-response to TNF inhibitor therapy. I was awarded the British Society for Rheumatology Garrod Prize for 2017, and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018. My Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellowship will develop skills in advanced statistics and computational biology to enable me to integrate multiple –omics datasets with clinical characteristics of RA patients to provide new insight into neutrophil phenotype in RA.


Project areas:
- Neutrophil-derived molecular biomarkers in inflammatory disease
- Regulation of neutrophil extracellular trap formation
- Neutrophil metabolomics


Recent publications:

  1. Chapman E, Lyon M, Simpson DM, Mason DN, Beynon RJ, Moots RJ, Wright HL. Caught in a Trap? Proteomics analysis of neutrophil extracellular traps in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Frontiers in Immunology 2019doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.00423
  2. Chokesuwattanaskul S, Phelan MM, Edwards SW, Wright HL. A robust intracellular metabolite extraction protocol for human neutrophil metabolic profiling. PLoS One 2018 13(12): e0209270
  3. Anderson JR, Chokesuwattanaskul S, Phelan MM, Welting TJ, Peffers MP, Wright HL. Application of 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to identify underlying pathology in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis synovial joints. Journal of Proteome Research 2018 17(11) 3780-3790
  4. Ramanathan K, Glaser A, Lythgoe H, Ong J, Beresford M, Midgley A, Wright HL. Neutrophil activation signature in juvenile idiopathic arthritis indicates the presence of low density granulocytes. Rheumatology 2018 57(3) 488-498
  5. Glennon-Alty L, Hackett AP, Chapman EA, Wright HL. Neutrophils and redox stress in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2018 125, 25-35 doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.03.049. 
  6. Mitchell T, Moots RJ, Wright HL. JAK inhibition prevents migration of rheumatoid arthritis neutrophils towards interleukin-8, but does not inhibit priming of the respiratory burst or ROS production. Clinical and Experimental Immunology 2017; 189(2) 250-258
  7. Wright HL, Cox T, Moots RJ, Edwards SW. A novel set of biomarkers predicts response to therapy with tumour necrosis factor inhibitors in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 2017; 101 785-795
  8. Wright HL, Makki F, Moots RJ, Edwards SW. Low density granulocytes: functionally distinct, immature neutrophils in rheumatoid arthritis with altered properties and defective TNF signalling. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 2017; 101 599-611
  9. Thomas HB, Moots RJ, Edwards SW, Wright HL. Whose gene is it anyway? The effect of preparation purity on neutrophil transcriptome studies. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0138982
  10. Wright HL, Thomas HB, Edwards SW, Moots RJ. Interferon gene expression signature in RA neutrophils correlates with a good response to TNFi therapy. Rheumatology 2015; 54(1) 188-193
  11. Wright HL, Moots RJ, Edwards SW. The multifactorial role of neutrophils in rheumatoid arthritis.  Nature Reviews Rheumatology 2014; 10(10) 593-601