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February 2018 - We welcome Taylor Mills to the ANZ-CLARITY team as our Research Assistant. Taylor will be the friendly face introducing the project to families attending clinics at the Royal Children’s Hospital.  

June 2017 – We congratulate and farewell PhD student Rachel Chiaroni-Clarke who has just submitted her PhD thesis. Rachel is now off to start a job in science communication, so we wish her well in her new adventure!

June 2017 – Another new team member joining ANZ CLARITY this month! Dr Joanna Cobb will be starting as a Senior Research Officer to oversee the laboratory processes to ensure we process and store samples efficiently and effectively. She will also contribute to some of the ongoing research studies. 

March 2017 – We’re very excited to have Tria Williams join the ANZ CLARITY team as our new Study Coordinator. Tria will initially be busy getting the paperwork together to help roll out ANZ CLARITY nationally, and then she will be the friendly voice on the phone chatting to our wonderful participants.


  • Chavez-Valencia R, Chiaroni-Clarke R, Martino D, Munro J, Allen R, Akikusa J, Ponsonby A-L, Craig J, Saffery R, Ellis JA. The DNA methylation landscape of CD4+ T cells in oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Journal of Autoimmunity 2018, 86: 29-38
  • Beukelman T, Anink J, Berntson L, Duffy C, Ellis JA, Glerup M, Guzman J, Horneff G, Kearsley-Fleet L, Klein A, Klotsche J, Magnusson B, Minden K, Munro JE, Niewerth M, Nordal E, Ruperto N, Santos M, Schanberg LE, Thomson W, van Suijlekom-Smit L, Wulffraat N, Hyrich K. A Survey of National and Multi-National Registries and Cohort Studies in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Pediatric Rheumatology 2017, 15(1):31
  • Sun C, Pezic A, Mackey DA, Carlin JB, Kemp A, Ellis JA, Cameron FJ, Rodda CP, Dwyer T, Coroneo MT, Ponsonby AL. Conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence as a measure of past sun exposure in children. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2017, April 26 (Epub ahead of print)
  • Bima A, Pezic A, Sun C, Cameron FJ, Rodda C, van der Mei I, Chiaroni-Clarke R, Dwyer T, Kemp A, Qu J, Carlin J, Ellis JA, Ponsonby A-L. Environmental and genetic determinants of two vitamin D metabolites in healthy Australian children. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism 2017, 30(5):531-541
  • Smith CA, Sun C, Pezic A, Rodda C, Cameron F, Allen K, Craig ME, Carlin J, Dwyer T, Lucas RM, Eyles DW, Kemp AS, Ellis JA, Ponsonby A-L. Determinants of neonatal vitamin D levels as measured on neonatal dried blood spots. Neonatology 2016, 111(2):153-161
  • G Goulielmos; RC Chiaroni-Clarke; D Dimopoulou; M Zervou; M Trachana; P Pratsidou-Gertsi; A Garyfallos; JA Ellis. Association of juvenile idiopathic arthritis with PTPN22 rs2476601 is specific to females in a Greek population. Pediatric Rheumatology 2016, 14(1):25
  • TH. Finkel, J Li, Z Wei, W Wang, H Zhang, EM. Behrens, EL. Reuschel, SM. Limou, C Wise, M Punaro, ML. Becker, JE. Munro, B Flatø, Ø Førre, SD. Thompson, CD. Langefeld, DN. Glass, JT. Glessner, CE. Kim, E Frackelton, DK. Shivers, KA. Thomas, RM. Chiavacci, C Hou, K Xu, J Snyder, H Qiu, F Mentch, K Wang, CA. Winkler, BA. Lie, JA. Ellis and H Hakonarson. Variants in CXCR4 associate with juvenile idiopathic arthritis susceptibility. BMC Medical Genetics 2016, 17(1):24
  • RC Chiaroni-Clarke, JE Munro, JA Ellis. The sex bias in pediatric autoimmune disease – not just about sex hormones? Journal of Autoimmunity 2016, 69:12-23
  • Y Zhang, Z-P Feng, G Naselli, F Bell, J Wettenhall, P Auyeung, JA Ellis, AL Ponsonby, TP Speed, MMW Chong, LC Harrison. MicroRNAs in CD4+ T cell subsets are markers of disease risk and T cell dysfunction in individuals at risk for type 1 diabetes. Journal of Autoimmunity 2016, 68:52-61
  • M.W.P. Tsang-A-Sjoe, S.Q. Nagelkerke, I.E.M. Bultink, J.Geissler, M.W.T. Tanck, C.E. Tacke, J.A. Ellis, W. Zenz, V. Wright, M. Bijl, R.G. de Sévaux, J.H. Berden, K. de Leeuw, R.H. Derksen, T.W. Kuijpers, A.E. Voskuyl. Fc-gamma receptor polymorphisms differentially influence susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis. Rheumatology 2016, 55(5):939-48
  • YR Li, S Zhao, M Mohebnasab, J Li, J Bradfield, L Steel, D Abrams, J Kobie, F Mentch, J Glessner, Y Guo, Z Wei, C Cardinale, M Bakay, J Connoly, D Li, SM Maggadottir, KA Thomas, H Qiu, R Chiavacci, C Kim, F Wang, J Snyder, B Flatø, Ø Førre, L Denson, SD. Thompson, M Becker, SL. Guthery, A Latiano, E Perez, E Resnick, C Strisciuglio, A Staiano, E Miele, M Silverberg, BA Lie, M Punaro, R Russell, D Wilson, MC Dubinsky, DS Monos, V Annese, J Munro, C Wise, H Chapel, C Cunningham-Rundles, J Orange, EM Behrens, K Sullivan, S Kugathasan, A Griffiths, J Satsangi, S Grant, P Sleiman, T Finkel, C Polychronakos, RN Baldassano, EL Prak, JA Ellis, H Li, BJ Keating, H Hakonarson. Genetic Sharing and Heritability of Pediatric Age of Onset Autoimmune Diseases. Nature Communications 2015 6:8442
  • YR Li, J Li, SD Zhao, JP Bradfield, FD. Mentch, SM Maggadottir, C Hou, DJ. Abrams, D Chang, F Gao, Y Guo, Z Wei, JJ Connoly, C Cardinale, M Bakay, J Glessner, C Kao, KA Thomas, H Qiu, R Chiavacci, C Kim, F Wang, J Snyder, MD Richie, B Flatø, Ø Førre, L Denson, SD Thompson, ML Becker, SL Guthery, A Latiano, E Perez, E Resnick, R Russell, D Wilson, MS Silverberg, V Annese, BA Lie, M Punaro, MC Dubinsky, DS Monos, C Strisciuglio, A Staiano, E Miele, S Kugathasan, JA Ellis, J Munro, K Sullivan, C Wise, H Chapel, C Cunningham-Rundles, SFA Grant, J Orange, PMA Sleiman, E Behrens, A Griffiths, J Satsangi, T Finkel, A Keinan, EL Prak, C Polychronakos, R Baldassano, H Li, BJ Keating, H Hakonarson. Meta analysis of shared genetic architecture in pediatric autoimmune disease. Nature Medicine 2015 21(9):1018-27
  • Rachel Chiaroni-Clarke, Yun Li, Jane Munro, Raul Chavez, Katrina Scurrah, Angela Pezic, Jonathan Akikusa, Roger Allen, Susan Piper, Mara Becker, Susan Thompson, Benedicte Lie, Berit Flato, Oystein Forre, Marilynn Punaro, Carol Wise, Richard Saffery, Terri Finkel, Hakon Hakonarson, Anne-Louise Ponsonby, Justine A Ellis. The Association of PTPN22 rs2476601 with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is Specific to Females. Genes and Immunity 2015, 16(7):495-8
  • B Meyer, RA Chavez, JE Munro, RC Chiaroni-Clarke, JD Akikusa, RC Allen, JM Craig, AL Ponsonby, R Saffery, JA Ellis. DNA methylation at IL32 and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Scientific Reports 2015 5:11063. doi: 10.1038/srep11063.
  • J Miller, AL Ponsonby, A Pezic, A Kemp, SE Piper, JD Akikusa, RC Allen, JE Munro, JA Ellis. Sibling exposure and risk of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatology 2015, 67(7):1951-8
  • JA Ellis, KJ Scurrah, YR Lin, AL Ponsonby, RA Chavez, A Pezic, T Dwyer, JD Akikusa, RC Allen, ML Becker, SD Thompson, BA Lie, B Flato, O Forre, M Punaro, C Wise, TH Finkel, H Hakonarson, JE Munro. Epistasis amongst PTPN2 and genes of the vitamin D pathway contributes to risk of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2015, 145:113-120
  • THCM Reinards, HM Albers, DMC Brinkman, SSM Kamphuis, MAJ van Rossum, HJ Girschick, C Wouters, EPAH Hoppenreijs, RK Saurenmann, A Hinks, JA Ellis, E Bakker, W Verduijn, P Slagboom, TWJ Huizinga, REM Toes, JJ Houwing-Duistermaat, R ten Cate, MW Schilham. CD226 (DNAM-1) is associated with susceptibility to juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2015, 74(12):2193-8
  • Rachel C Chiaroni-Clarke, Jane E Munro, Raul A Chavez, Angela Pezic, Roger C Allen, Jonathan D Akikusa, Susan E Piper, Richard Saffery, Anne-Louise Ponsonby, Justine A Ellis. Independent confirmation of juvenile idiopathic arthritis genetic risk loci previously identified by Immunochip array analysis. Pediatric Rheumatology 2014, 12(1):53
  • RA Chavez Valencia, DJ Martino, R Saffery, JA Ellis. In vitro exposure of human blood mononuclear cells to active vitamin D does not induce substantial change to DNA methylation on a genome scale. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2014, 141:144-9
  • JA Ellis, AS Kemp, A-L Ponsonby. Gene-environment interaction in autoimmune diseases. Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine 2014, 16:e4
  • A Pezic, A-L Ponsonby, FJ Cameron, C Rodda, JA Ellis, J Halliday, W Siero, RM Lucas, T Dwyer. Constitutive and relative facultative skin pigmentation among Victorian children including comparison of two visual skin charts for determining constitutive melanin density. Photochemistry and Photobiology 2013, 89:714-23
  • JA Ellis, RA Chavez, A Pezic, A-L Ponsonby, JD Akikusa, RC Allen, JE Munro. Independent replication analysis of genetic loci with previous evidence of association with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Pediatric Rheumatology 2013, 11:12.
  • JA Ellis, A-L Ponsonby, A Pezic, R Chavez, R Allen, J Akikusa, J Munro. CLARITY: ChiLdhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification sTudY. Paediatric Rheumatology 2012, 10(1):37.
  • JA Ellis, J Munro, R Chavez, L Gordon, JE Joo, J Akikusa, R Allen, A-L Ponsonby, J Craig, R Saffery. Genome-scale case-control analysis of CD4+ T cell DNA methylation in Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis reveals potential targets involved in disease. Clinical Epigenetics 2012, 4(1):20.


  • May 2017 –  Australian Rheumatology Association Paediatric Rheumatology Satellite meeting, Auckland NZ ‘CLARITY update’
  • March 2016 - Rheumatology Department, Great Ormond Street Hospital London ‘What are the risk factors for juvenile arthritis?’
  • June 2015 -     European League Against Rheumatism Annual Scientific Meeting, Rome ‘Association of PTPN22 with JIA is specific to females’ - Winner of the Kourir Award for best paediatric abstract
  • May 2016 - Australian Rheumatology Association Annual Scientific Meeting, Darwin  ‘A multidisciplinary approach to identifying risk factors for juvenile idiopathic arthritis’ - Invited Plenary Presentation



  • 2SER 107.3 FM Sydney Community Radio – A/Prof Justine Ellis speaking on arthritis in young people, 7 March 2017.


  • The Australian – Multiple genetic breakthrough, 25 August 2015
  • Herald Sun Melbourne – Siblings can help quell arthritis, 31 March 2015
  • Courier Mail Brisbane – How siblings keep kids from painful condition, 31 March 2015


  • 9 News,, 11 others - Kids with siblings have less arthritis, 30 March 2015