Kim Rainsford

Professor Kim Rainsford

Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Sciences


Anti-inflammatory drugs

The development of new agents as well as the novel applications of anti-inflammatory drugs for the therapy of inflammatory conditions is a major aspect of research of this group. These studies include

  • Understanding of the modes of action of novel compounds compared with established anti-inflammatory / analgesic drugs and natural products used in pain relief in arthritic diseases. Investigation of the mechanisms of effects of novel natural products with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-ulcer activities. These studies are in collaboration with Professor Michael Whitehouse, Griffiths University and University of Queensland, Brisbane; Professor Michael Roberts, University of Queensland, and University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
  • Mechanisms of the effects of new compared with established non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), natural products and novel agents affecting intracellular signalling and epigenetic control of joint destruction. Cytokine-, RANK-ligand and Protease Activated Receptor-2 mediated osteoclast resorption that underlies the manifestations of bone destruction and cellular apoptosis in arthritic and periodontal diseases. These studies are in collaboration with Dr David Haynes and colleagues, Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Professor David Fairlie, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland (supported by an Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council Grant)
  • Novel mechanisms of action on vascular functions and gastric mucosal injury of the new class of nitric oxide (NO)-donating NSAIDs [or CINODS], are being investigated in collaboration with Dr Brian Callingham, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge and Dr Akram Khan
  • The mechanisms of the inhibitory effects of components of a novel celery seed extract on the growth and viability of the gastric pathogen, Helicobacter pylori, and other microbial organisms are being explored in collaboration with Professor Tom Smith. Patents have been granted to Professors Whitehouse, Rainsford and their colleagues showing the effectiveness of this celery seed extract in producing therapeutic effects and inhibiting the growth and viability of Helicobacter pylori
  • Investigation of the mechanisms of the gastric mucosal injury from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the regulation of the metabolism of eicosanoids, nitric oxide as well as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines

Anti-rheumatic drugs

  • The physico-chemical features underlying the therapeutic actions of anti-arthritic drugs and the development of side-effects from NSAIDs. This work involves investigations on gastro-intestinal injury from these drugs. Also, the role of physico-chemical properties of NSAIDs and DMARDs in causing or preventing cartilage/bone destruction characteristic in arthritis and effects of these drugs in accelerating or ameliorating these joint destructive events
  • The actions of these drugs relevant are being explored in relation to their effects in osteoarthritis includes studies on their actions on the production and actions of inflammatory mediators (cytokines, eicosanoids, nitric oxide, oxyradicals) and activation of cellular (leucocyte) and immune reactions, produced in chronic inflammatory states. Novel natural product components and their derivatives designed to control these and other inflammatory events are being developed in collaboration with Dr Akram Khan of the BMRC

Drug safety and efficacy

  • Assessments of the importance of drug-disease or drug-drug interactions which limit the effectiveness of drug therapies, contribute to their pharmacological effects and their toxic effects. This work includes a study of the patho-physiological factors underlying adverse drug reactions, e.g. gastro-intestinal ulceration caused by anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Among the studies investigating the population effects of adverse drug reaction reports attributed to anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs employ statistical analysis and modelling of the adverse events reported in clinical trials and in various spontaneous reporting databases in order to derive causative relationships

Health status of Chernobyl clean-up workers in Latvia

As part of a long-term study in collaboration with colleagues at the Riga Stradins University and Hospital (Riga, Latvia) investigations are being undertaken to establish the role of the development of sustained oxidant injury on the deteriorating health of the workers that participated in the clean-up of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor site following the Chernobyl reactor disaster in 1986. Following initial observations showing substantial increases in oxidants and heavy metals and decline in selenium in the circulation of these patients, studies are ongoing designed to establish the efficacy and safety of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory therapies on their health in relation to biochemical changes in their major organ systems.

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