Adherence – taking a medicine, or using a treatment as directed

Antibody – substances produced in the blood (proteins) in order to fight against harmful bacteria or disease

Association – A link or connection between two things. This link is not always causative, for example, the number of ice creams bought might correlate with the number of people getting sun burn but buying the ice cream isn’t causing the sun burn

Biologics /biologic therapies A drug, given via injection or infusion where the active ingredient is made using living cells, for example an antibody

Biomarker An indicator of a particular bodily process or disease. For example, this could be high levels of a particular protein, which could predict that the disease will respond to a particular drug

British Association of Dermatologists Biologic and Immunomodulators Register (BADBIR) – A long-term observational study looking at the safety and long-term efficiency of biologic treatments

Characterisation – To find and describe, or attribute, distinguishing traits

Chronic – An illness that has persisted for a long time or is constantly recurring

Collaboration – Two or more people coming together to work towards shared goals, in the case of PSORT, academics (or researchers based in universities or the NHS) coming together with industry (pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies) and a charity (the Psoriasis Association) to all work together to better understand psoriasis and how best to treat it

Co-morbid / co-morbidity – The presence of one or more additional diseases e.g. psoriatic arthritis or high blood pressure, occurring with a primary disease e.g. psoriasis

Computational methods – Using computers to understand and solve problems. Often involves the development of models and simulations

Connexins A group of proteins that sit in the cell membrane. They allow cells to communicate and bind to each other

DNA – Short for ‘Deoxyribonucleic acid’, DNA carries all of our genetic information and copies of this information can be passed to the next generation

Drug immunogenicity – The production of antibodies against drugs, which can make them ineffective or cease to work

Functional characterisation – To find and describe, or attribute, functions to a molecule, pathway, or gene etc.

Genes – Sections of DNA which code for a molecule that has a function in the body

Genetic defects / variants – The DNA sequences for genes can be different in different people. These differences are a result of mutation and can result in a slightly different protein being produced, which may have a slightly different function. These changes could affect the person negatively, positively, or be neutral

Genetic factors – The genes, and versions of the gene, that can affect a particular condition

Genetic predisposition/ susceptibility – An increased chance of developing a particular disease, based on the specific genetic variations of that individual. However, this does not mean that a person will definitely develop the condition. Genetic variations don’t often directly cause disease, but may contribute to disease development

Genomic – The study of genes and their functions, also the techniques used in order to carry out such studies

Heterogeneity – Differences

Interleukin – A naturally occurring chemical produced in the body (cytokine) that is involved with inflammation

Inflammation – An immune response to a detected threat. The affected area often becomes red, hot, swollen, and painful

Inflammatory – Causing inflammation in a part of the body

Inhibitor – A substance that decreases or prevents the activity of another substance

Minimal effective dose – The smallest dose or a medicine that will produce the desired outcome

Monoclonal (antibody) – A type of protein, made in a laboratory, that can bind to substances in the body e.g. in psoriasis, biological therapies are monoclonal antibodies that can block or alter a chemical pathway in order to prevent the inflammation associated with the signs of psoriasis

Multi-disciplinary approach – Using or combining multiple academic areas to solve a problem

Mutation – A change in the DNA sequence of a gene, the location of a gene, or the number of copies of a gene

Mutation burden – The number of mutations

Next generation sequencing – A general term to describe many modern sequencing methods. Also known as high-throughput sequencing, these methods are much quicker and cheaper than the previously used Sanger sequencing

Onset – The start of something

Pathogenesis – The way a disease develops

Pathways – Can include genetic, metabolic or signalling pathways. Genetic pathways refer to a group of genes interacting, whereas metabolic and signalling pathways are a series of chemical reactions or signalling events at the cell level

Personalised medicine – The way of treating people using their individual information including genetics, how their psoriasis looks and environmental factors (such as smoking, weight and alcohol use) to better target their therapy, rather than a “one size fits all” approach.  In psoriasis this could mean taking all the factors into account, and prescribing biologic a rather than biologic b because we know from the patient’s genetic markers and how their psoriasis looks, they should achieve a better response from biologic a.  However, the next patient to see the Dermatologist may respond better to biologic b.

Pharmacological – Studying the use, effect and mode of action of medicines

Pilot – To test a project on a smaller scale before running it on a bigger scale

Pilot study – A smaller scale study that is carried out before expanding the experiment or study. Often used to test the experiment plan and improve it before running the full-scale study

Prognosis – The likely course of a disease or situation

Stratify / Stratification – In the case of PSORT this is taking a group of people with plaque psoriasis, then being able to divide them into more defined groups depending on genetic information that may be common to some and not others, and response to treatment

Systemic treatment – A treatment that works throughout the whole body

Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) – A cell signalling protein involved with inflammation

Variant – A different version of something

White blood cells – Cells of the immune system that protect the body from infection and other foreign substances. They are also called leucocytes or leukocytes.