The John Isaacs PhD scholarship announced

John Isaacs is a Professor of Rheumatology & Director of Therapeutics North East at Newcastle University and Consultant Rheumatologist and Director of Research at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Alongside colleagues in Glasgow, Birmingham and Oxford, he also leads their inflammatory arthritis centre.

Each year the charity funds a number of PhD scholarships which are scored and ranked on factors including the potential impact of the research and potential benefit for patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

John is a dedicated supporter and fundraiser for the charity. He’s run the Great North Run many times for Versus Arthritis and has raised over £50,000 to support their work. This PhD has been awarded to honour his incredible achievements.

John says: “In 2005 I decided to attempt the Great North Run and raise some funds for Versus Arthritis. It was supposed to be a one off, but it was a fabulous day and I raised a reasonable amount from generous friends and colleagues.

“The charity and my donors encouraged me to run it a second time in 2006, and then a third in 2007.  Each year I said it was going to be my last – but each time my donors became more generous.

“Finally, in 2019, I ran my 15th and final Great North Run. It’s been so satisfying to fund raise over the years, for the charity that has generously supported the work of our laboratory.  Whilst I have run enough, I am still seeking my next challenge.”

Head of Research Delivery at Versus Arthritis, Dr Caroline Aylott says: “We’re thrilled to be able to announce the John Isaacs PhD studentship in recognition of the fantastic work he has done to support the charity and people with arthritis over the years.

“PhD Studentships are the first step on the journey to becoming the future leaders of musculoskeletal research. It’s fitting that this research is in an area close to John’s heart and will help to advance our understanding of rheumatoid arthritis and improve treatments for people with the condition.”