UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Prof Lucy Wedderburn

Prof Lucy Wedderburn

Professor of Paediatric Rheumatology

Infection, Immunity & Inflammation Dept

UCL GOS Institute of Child Health

Joined UCL
1st Apr 2002

Research summary

I am a Professor of Paediatric Rheumatology at the UCL GOS Institute of Child Health, and also work as a Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust where I see patients with a range of autoimmune and rheumatic dieases, with a focus on arthritis and myositis. All of the research work I lead is informed by patients and the key questions we still need to answer concerning the causes, treatments and outcomes of these diseases. My medical training was followed by award of a Clinical Research Fellowship to work on the biology of human T cell receptor (TCR)/MHC-peptide interactions, leading to my PhD. Funded by an EMBO Fellowship, I undertook postdoctoral work at Stanford USA, generating human MHC-class-ll tetramers to define biochemistry of human CD4+ T cell/MHC interactions. Returning to UCL on a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellowship, I established my group working on immunological mechanisms underlying childhood arthritis and myositis with focus on T cells. I became a full Professor at UCL in 2010. I am Director of the Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology Versus Arthritis, Deputy Director of the NIHR funded GOSH Biomedical Research Centre and Chief investigator of the MRC-funded stratified medicine in JIA, CLUSTER.

Research Programme

  • My research group has a major focus upon human immune cell responses and immune regulation, in the context of two autoimmune conditions of childhood, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). 
  • We are interested in mechanisms which allow survival and expansion of inflammatory cells in tissues compared to defects in immune regulation and how these influence disease course and phenotype. We demonstrated a pivotal role for the Th17 population in JIA, and that under inflammatory conditions, Th17 cells that demonstrate plasticity are identified by the specific molecule CD161 whose biology we are now exploring
  • Our group hosts the UK JDM Cohort and Biomarker Study, generating critical evidence for clinico-pathological endo-phenotypes, myositis autoantibody associations with genotype, and a validated tool for assessment of muscle biopsy pathology, now in clinical use
  • We have a growing interest in interactions between metabolism and ongoing immune response in these disease
  • As Director of the Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology Versus Arthritis since 2012, I have established and led a large team of multi-disciplinary researchers in this emerging field dissecting how puberty impacts on the immune system and disease. We have provided seminal evidence that adolescent arthritis requires age-specific science and care

Teaching summary

I teach and train undergraduate, Masters and PhD students, as well Clinical Fellows. I have mentored a large number of both basic science and clinical post doctoral fellows, who have successfully obtained their own funding to progress their careers. I contribute regularly to Masters courses both within UCL GOS Institute of Child Health and across UCL 


University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1995
Royal College of Physicians
Doctorate, Member of the Royal College of Physicians | 1989
London Hospital Medical College
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery | 1986
University of Cambridge
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1982


Undergraduate: Cambridge University (final year studies in Immunology and Virology) 

 Medical training: Royal London Hospital 

 Core clinical training: London 

 PhD: Cancer Research UK/UCL 

 Post doctoral Fellowship (EMBO) to work in Immunology, Stanford University USA

 Wellcome Trust Fellowship (Clinician Scientist): UCL 

 UCL Faculty position since 2000