Dr Catherine Swales



Tutorial Fellow in Clinical Medicine

Dr Swales started her medical training at University College London in 1991. Following an intercalated BSc and PhD in Neurosciences, she moved to pursue her clinical training in Oxford, and qualified in 2000. Following postgraduate training in Nottingham, she returned to Oxford to take up a Clinical Lectureship in Rheumatology in 2003. During this period of specialist training she developed a research interest in inflammatory arthritis - particularly rheumatoid arthritis - and medical education. Dr Swales was appointed as Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in 2012, and divides her time between clinical work, research on the NIHR clinical trials unit and student teaching/supervision.


Dr Swales has been teaching and training Oxford University medical students and postgraduates since 2003, initially as Clinical Lecturer and since 2011 as Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences. In 2012, she was awarded a distinction in her PGDipLATHE thesis entitled “Creating the generous physician”, and was subsequently elected as a Senior Fellow in the Higher Education Academy. In 2014, she was appointed as Associate Director of Clinical Studies for the University of Oxford Medical School. Alongside teaching medical students throughout their clinical training, Dr Swales has a special interest in helping students foster/maintain research interests and develop early aspirations for clinical academic careers. She works closely with the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School (OUCAGS) to identify and address barriers or challenges for students gaining research experience; she is the University’s INSPIRE lead for the Academy of Medical Sciences. As an Athena SWAN champion within the Medical Sciences Division, Dr Swales also takes particular responsibility for encouraging and supporting women in medical training and careers. She coordinates and delivers teaching to all St Hilda’s clinical students, up to and including preparation for finals. She is also personal tutor to all our clinical students, providing termly appraisal, and ongoing pastoral support and career advice. In 2017, Dr Swales was appointed as an Education Associate for the General Medical Council, and she supports their Quality Assurance activities in medical schools across the UK and internationally.

Research Interests

Dr Swales has a broad experience of laboratory techniques/experimental design, but her current research interests focus on clinical trial delivery. The NIHR clinical trials unit at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre runs a portfolio of academic-led and experimental medicine studies, as well as later phase clinical trials in collaboration with partners from the pharmaceutical industry. Her particular interest is the developing field of stratified medicine and novel therapeutic options/approaches in rheumatic disease.



Angiopoietin-like 4 is over-expressed in rheumatoid arthritis patients: association with pathological bone resorption.

Swales C, Athanasou NA, Knowles HJ.

PLoS One. 2014;9(10):e109524



Cellular and molecular mechanisms of bone damage and repair in inflammatory arthritis.

Swales C, Sabokbar A.

Drug Discov Today. 2014;19(8):1178-85.


Utility of Ultrasound in the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Emergency Rheumatology Clinic: Survey of Clinical Effectiveness

K. Bhamra, M. Seymour, C. Swales, P. Taylor

Ann Rheum Dis 2014;73:S2 659-660


Chromatin Modifying Mechanisms in Macrophages Differ between Healthy Controls and Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

K. Rooke, L. Kruidenier, H. Che, P. Mander, C. Swales, R. Prinjha, U. Oppermann

Ann Rheum Dis 2014;73:S2 823-824


A selective jumonji H3K27 demethylase inhibitor modulates the proinflammatory macrophage response.

Kruidenier L, Chung CW, Cheng Z, Liddle J, Che K, Joberty G, Bantscheff M, Bountra C, Bridges A, Diallo H, Eberhard D, Hutchinson S, Jones E, Katso R, Leveridge M, Mander PK, Mosley J, Ramirez-Molina C, Rowland P, Schofield CJ, Sheppard RJ, Smith JE, Swales C, Tanner R, Thomas P, Tumber A, Drewes G, Oppermann U, Patel DJ, Lee K, Wilson DM.

Nature. 2012;488(7411):404-8.


TSG-6 inhibits osteoclast activity via an autocrine mechanism and is functionally synergistic with osteoprotegerin.

Mahoney DJ, Swales C, Athanasou NA, Bombardieri M, Pitzalis C, Kliskey K, Sharif M, Day AJ, Milner CM, Sabokbar A.

Arthritis Rheum. 2011;63(4):1034-43


The pathobiology of osteoarthritis

Swales C. and Athanasou NA.

Orthopaedics and Trauma 2011; 24: 399 - 404


Independent roles for the dorsal paraflocculus and vermal lobule VII of the cerebellum in visuomotor coordination.

Kralj-Hans I, Baizer JS, Swales C, Glickstein M.

Exp Brain Res. 2007;177(2):209-22


     Anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy in seronegative spondyloarthritis.

    Swales C. and Bowness P.Clin Med 2005;5:219 – 222


Role of LIGHT in the pathogenesis of joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.

Sabokbar A, Afrough S, Mahoney DJ, Uchihara Y, Swales C, Athanasou NA.

World J Exp Med. 2017 May 20;7(2):49-57. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v7.i2.49. eCollection 2017 May 20.


Free PMC Article

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Thoughts of being an imposter, in medical students.

Warraich S, Swales C, O'Leary D.

Clin Teach. 2017 May 18. doi: 10.1111/tct.12668. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.



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