Dr Gisela Orozco

by | 18 Jul 2022 | Manchester, Supervisors | 0 comments

Gisela Orozco.Email: gisela.orozco@manchester.ac.uk

Research profile and key clinical specialties

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the joints, which affects half a million people in the UK and is one of the major causes of disability.

RA has a strong genetic basis and our group has led the way internationally in identifying over 100 genetic variants that are associated with RA risk.

However, we don’t yet know how genetic changes act to cause disease. If we want to develop better treatments and ultimately cure disease, we first need to understand how these genetic changes affect biological pathways.

Our main research interest is to identify the genes, biological pathways and mechanisms by which these variants act to increase the risk of disease.

It is a really exciting time for genetic diseases because we now have methods that allow us to manipulate DNA and see the effect (genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9, the pioneers of which were awarded the Nobel prize in 2020).

While the project is focused on RA, the techniques could be applied in many disease areas.

Two key publications

  • Mcgovern A, Schoenfelder S, Martin P, Massey J, Duffus K, Plant D, Yarwood A, Pratt A, Anderson A, Isaacs J, Diboll J, Thalayasingam N, Ospelt C, Barton A, Worthington J, Fraser P, Eyre S, Orozco G. Capture Hi-C identifies a novel causal gene, IL20RA, in the pan-autoimmune genetic susceptibility region 6q23. Genome Biology. 2016;17:212.
  • Ding J, Frantzeskos A, Orozco G. Functional genomics in autoimmune diseases. Human Molecular Genetics, 2020;29:R59–R65

Possible PhD projects

  • Defining the role of non-coding variants associated with rheumatoid arthritis risk in the regulation of gene expression.

More information


Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, chronic, disease, inflammation, joints, genetic, pan-autoimmune, Gisela, Orozco, Manchester