• A Corrigendum to this article was published on 24 January 2018

This article has been updated


Collaboration can be challenging; nevertheless, the emerging successes of large, multi-partner, multi-national cooperatives and research networks in the biomedical sector have sustained the appetite of academics and industry partners for developing and fostering new research consortia. This model has percolated down to national funding agencies across the globe, leading to funding for projects that aim to realise the true potential of genomic medicine in the 21st century and to reap the rewards of 'big data'. In this Perspectives article, the experiences of the RA-MAP consortium, a group of more than 140 individuals affiliated with 21 academic and industry organizations that are focused on making genomic medicine in rheumatoid arthritis a reality are described. The challenges of multi-partner collaboration in the UK are highlighted and wide-ranging solutions are offered that might benefit large research consortia around the world.

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Change history

  • 24 January 2018

    In the version of this article originally published, the name of one of the authors, Peter Schulz-Knappe, was incorrectly given as Peter Schulze-Knappe. In addition, Mark Coles and James Butler were erroneously omitted from the list of members of the RA-MAP Consortium. These errors have now been corrected in the PDF and HTML versions of the article.


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The programme of research described in this Perspectives article was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK. The RA-MAP Consortium would particularly like to thank members of the MRC Immunity and Inflammation Stratified Medicine Steering Group and officers of the MRC, who have supported the work of the RA-MAP Consortium with unbridled enthusiasm.

Author information


  1. Andrew P. Cope is at the Centre for Inflammation Biology and Cancer Immunology, School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 1UL, UK.

    • Andrew P. Cope
  2. M.R.B. is at Queen Mary University of London, UK.

    • Michael R. Barnes
  3. A.B., M.B. and R.R. are at GlaxoSmithKline.

    • Alexandra Belson
    • , Michael Binks
    •  & Ravi Rao
  4. S.B., A.W.P. and J.D.I. are at Newcastle University, UK.

    • Sarah Brockbank
    • , Ayako Wakatsuki Pedersen
    •  & John D. Isaacs
  5. F.B.-C., A.R. and D.V. are at Janssen.

    • Francisco Bonachela-Capdevila
    • , Anthony Rowe
    •  & Denny Verbeeck
  6. C.C. is at Pfizer.

    • Claudio Carini
  7. B.A.F. is at the University of Birmingham, UK.

    • Benjamin A. Fisher
  8. C.S.G., I.B.M. and D.P. are at the University of Glasgow, UK.

    • Carl S. Goodyear
    • , Iain B. McInnes
    •  & Duncan Porter
  9. P.E., M.F.M. and F.P. are at the University of Leeds, UK.

    • Paul Emery
    • , Michael F. McDermott
    •  & Frederique Ponchel
  10. M.R.E. is at University College London, UK.

    • Michael R. Ehrenstein
  11. N.G. and G.P. are at UCB Pharma.

    • Neil Gozzard
    •  & Gerry Parker
  12. R.H. is at Elsai.

    • Ray Harris
  13. S.H. and C.L. are at AstraZeneca.

    • Sally Hollis
    •  & Catharina Lindholm
  14. S.K. and M.L. are at Abbvie.

    • Sarah Keidel
    •  & Marc Levesque
  15. C.M.M. is at Roche.

    • Christopher M. Mela
  16. S.R. is at Grunenthal.

    • Simon Read
  17. P.S.-K. is at Protagen AG.

    • Peter Schulz-Knappe
  18. M.A.S. is at MedImmune.

    • Matthew A. Sleeman
  19. D.S. is at the University of Manchester, UK.

    • Deborah Symmons
  20. P.C.T. is at the University of Oxford, UK.

    • Peter C. Taylor
  21. B.T. is at the University of Cambridge, UK.

    • Brian Tom
  22. W.T. is at Amgen.

    • Wayne Tsuji


  1. The RA-MAP Consortium


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A.P.C., M.R.B. and J.D.I. wrote the manuscript. A.P.C., S.B., F.B.-C. and A.W.P. researched data for the article. A.P.C., M.R.B., A.B., M.B., S.B., F.B.-C., B.A.F., C.S.G., P.E., M.E.R., N.G., R.H., S.H., M.F.M., I.B.M., S.R., A.W.P., F.P., D.P., R.R., A.R., M.A.S., D.S., B.T. and J.D.I. provided substantial contributions to discussions of content. A.P.C., M.R.B., A.B., S.B., F.B.-C., C.C., B.A.F., C.S.G., M.E.R., N.G., R.H., S.H., S.K., M.L., C.L., M.F.M., I.B.M., C.M.M., G.P., S.R., A.W.P., F.P., D.P., A.R., P.S.-K., M.A.S., D.S., P.C.T., B.T., W.T., D.V. and J.D.I. reviewed and/or edited the manuscript before submission.

Competing interests

A.P.C. declares that he has acted as a consultant for or received honoraria from BMS, Eisai, GSK, Janssen and Roche. For a full list of competing interests for all co-authors, see Supplementary information S6 (table).

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew P. Cope.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary information S1 (figure)

    The RA-MAP Consortium

  2. 2.

    Supplementary information S2 (figure)

    The RA-MAP Research Programme

  3. 3.

    Supplementary information S3 (figure)

    Project management and reporting lines

  4. 4.

    Supplementary information S4 (figure)

    RA-MAP core technologies

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    Supplementary information S5 (figure)

    Managing 'big data'

  6. 6.

    Supplementary information S6 (table)

    Contributing authors and their competing interests

  7. 7.

    Supplementary information S7 (box)

    RA-MAP Consortium Membership (2012 – current)

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