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British Thyroid Foundation joins pioneering Connect Immune Research partnership

The patient support charity British Thyroid Foundation has joined the group of organisations collaborating on research into the causes of autoimmune conditions.
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Kate Lawton 11 October 2022

British Thyroid Foundation and Connect Immune Research logos

The patient support charity British Thyroid Foundation has joined the group of organisations collaborating on research into the causes of autoimmune conditions.

Autoimmune conditions occur when the body’s immune system begins attacking its own cells. Often, people have more than one autoimmune condition, fuelling the idea that there are common underlying biological mechanisms across different autoimmune conditions.

What is Connect Immune Research?

Connect Immune Research is a ground-breaking initiative launched in 2018 by JDRF, the MS Society, Versus Arthritis and the British Society for Immunology. It brings together organisations that research autoimmune conditions to understand how autoimmune disorders are linked.

What is the British Thyroid Foundation?

The British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) committing to the project now is testament to how the autoimmune research community views this pivotal partnership. Scientists coming together from different fields broadens the scope of research, leading to faster and more innovative outcomes. Connect Immune Research now has even more experts working collaboratively. This accelerates its mission to find the root causes of autoimmunity and develop treatments for people living with autoimmune conditions.

Julia Priestley, CEO (Development) of the BTF, said: “We are delighted to join Connect Immune Research, which is such an important network of organisations with common interests. We look forward to working together and sharing resources to encourage much-needed research in this area.”

The BTF is a patient support organisation dedicated to helping people live better with thyroid disease by providing evidence-based information and a support network. BTF funds vital research into thyroid disease to improve understanding, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders.

Autoimmune thyroid diseases affect millions in UK

Professor Marian Ludgate from the Thyroid Research Group at Cardiff University School of Medicine said: “Autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease, are the most commonly occurring autoimmune diseases. They affect millions of people of all ages in the UK. Unfortunately, even though the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity is increasing, treatments for most patients haven’t changed in decades.”

Now the British Thyroid Foundation have joined the collaboration, Connect Immune Research is made up of the following organisations:

  • JDRF
  • The British Society for Immunology
  • The MS Society
  • Versus Arthritis
  • Alopecia UK
  • The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance
  • Coeliac UK
  • Bowel Research UK
  • The British Thyroid Foundation

Investigating autoimmune conditions together

Rachel Connor, Director of Research Partnerships at JDRF, said: “We know that there are many people who live with more than one autoimmune condition, and many more people who have family members who are affected by other autoimmune conditions. So, it makes sense to investigate what these conditions have in common. The more autoimmune conditions we have represented in the Connect Immune Research partnership, the more we can ensure this research fits the needs of everyone affected by autoimmunity.”

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