Introducing Leeds Cares Research Fellow… Leticia Garcia-Montoya

Researcher to take on two year project funded by Leeds Cares

Dr Leticia Garcia-Montoya has just been awarded a two-year research post, funded entirely by Leeds Cares. This is part of a million pound investment recently made by Leeds Cares into research and innovation projects at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Leticia started the post in August 2019 and will be based at Chapel Allerton hospital for the duration of her research.

Having completed her medical training in Spain, Leticia moved to the UK in 2017 to complete her speciality training. Her research will see her undertake a project under the guidance of Professor Paul Emery, Head of Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine. The project will attempt to identify biomarkers associated with the development of rheumatoid arthritis in order to support early diagnosis and begin preventative treatment.

Around 1% of the population will develop rheumatoid arthritis over their lifetime and impact on quality of life can vary from mild pain to aggressive flare ups and the need to have joint replacements. The disease can affect all areas of the body, including the hands, feet and wrists, but also internal organs like the lungs.

Dr Garcia-Montoya will work with a national cohort of patient who are at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, alongside an existing clinic of patients who already have the disease.

Leticia said “I am incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to this life changing research. It is a privilege to know you’re helping people. Rheumatoid arthritis could affect anyone – your friends or family, young or old – research can help these people live a normal, pain free life. I’m very thankful to anyone who has donated to Leeds Cares to enable them to fund researchers like me”.

Leticia is now working towards her PhD and some of her early work has already been presented at EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) congress.