Fiona Pearce is Co-Director of HDR UK Midlands and NIHR Advanced Fellow, and Clinical Associate Professor in Rheumatology Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham. She holds an honorary position as a consultant rheumatologist (autoimmune arthritis specialist) at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and as an honorary consultant within the Rare Disease Team at the National Disease Registration Service in NHS England.
Fiona’s research interests are centred around rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases, such as vasculitis, lupus and scleroderma. She has a particular interest in using routinely collected healthcare data to improve the lives of people with rare diseases. She is interested in developing ways to conduct health data research in rare diseases using whole population approaches and to make this scalable to all 5000 rare diseases. She works with HDR UK and other relevant organisations to develop health data research capacity in rare diseases.
Fiona’s specialist interests within rheumatology epidemiology are the occurrence, natural history and treatment outcomes of rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases. She was awarded a Versus Arthritis clinical research fellowship and completed her PhD on the “The epidemiology and natural history of ANCA associated vasculitis in the UK: a response to The UK Strategy for Rare Diseases” in 2018. She leads the RECORDER collaboration with the Rare Disease Team at the National Disease Registration Service in NHS England. She holds an NIHR advanced fellowship, “Using Health Data Science and large-scale data to improve the lives of people with rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases and other rare diseases.” Her epidemiology work is currently describing national epidemiology of rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases, and effects of COVID-19 in immunosuppressed populations.
She regularly publishes research papers in scientific journals and has contributed a book chapter to the Oxford Textbook of Medicine. Fiona’s motivation, whether in research or in the clinic, is to improve the care of patients with rare autoimmune diseases.