Personal profile


Anthony Jones is professor of Neuro-rheumatology at Manchester University and leads the Human Pain Research Group. Whilst at the Hammersmith Hospital he pioneered the development of techniques to image neurochemical and metabolic brain responses to pain using Positron Emission Tomography. Over the last twenty years he has used a number of functional brain imaging techniques to understand that the normal and abnormal mechanisms of pain perception. There is now the exciting prospect of using some of the insights gained in these studies to develop new approaches to pharmacological and cognitive interventions for chronic pain. He also leads the International Association of Pain Musculoskletal Pain Taskforce and is leading the development of National and International Guidelines on the Integrated Management of Musculoskeletal Pain (jointly sponsored by the BSR and the IASP).

Research interests

  • Previous research has concentrated on the development of new techniques to identify the network of brain structures in the human brain that is involved in nociceptive processing and some of the endogenous pharmacological processes that may modify this. We were the first group to achieve these two goals. The main applications have been in musculoskeletal and post-stroke pain. Candidate mechanisms for fibromyalgia and post-stoke pain have been identified by recent PET studies; funded by our Arthritis Research Campaign program grant and previous MRC grants.
  • Future research will be focused on establishing a causal relationship between some of these candidate mechanisms and different types of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Having identified these, our long-term goal is to identify new therapeutic targets for modifying such abnormal brain mechanisms.


Current university teaching activities include regular undergraduate and post-graduate teaching. Over the last five years the work from our group and those of our colleagues, and the seminars that we have given nationally and internationally, have resulted in a slow but substantial shift of interest to pain physiology and pain management issues in the European Rheumatology and Neurology Communities. This has resulted in the Group being commissioned by the British Society for Rheumatology and the International Society for the Study of Pain (IASP) to develop “Integrated Guidelines for the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain”.

Specialist registrars in rheumatology are taught in the multidisciplinary musculoskeletal pain and inflammatory arthritis clinics that I have set up in parallel to the formal teaching they get on the ward and in the Rheumatology MSc course.

Now that the ARC programme grant has been established we have plans, which are at an early stage, to develop a teaching website on the principles of pain physiology and musculoskeletal pain management. We would plan to do this in conjunction with our colleagues in the Dept of Anatomy, ARC Epidemiology Unit and the Royal College of Physicians and IASP. Chairman of IASP Musculoskeletal Pain Taskforce. This is an international group which is focussed on developing and promoting the guidelines - driven management of Musculoskeletal Pain workshops and seminars at international and national meetings. We plan to do this at the same time as holding a number of National and International meetings to develop and promote the “Integrated Guidelines for the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain”.

My collaborations


  • Carlo Porro
    University of Udine, Italy
    Collaborator in grant applications and research
  • Irene Tracey
    University of Oxford
    Collaborator in grant applications and research
  • Peter Bandettini
    collaborator on HFSP grant
  • Dr Pippa Tyrrell
    Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Professor Alan R Crossman
    University of Manchester
    current collaborator
  • Professor Bill Deakin
    University of Manchester
    grant collaborator
  • Professor Francis Creed
    University of Manchester
    collaborator on research
  • Professor Terence King
    University of Manchester
    collaborator on arc programme grant

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Royal College of Physicians
  • British Society for Rheumatology
  • Pain Society
  • International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
  • European Federation of the International Association for the Study of Pain - (EFIC)
  • British Neuroscience Association
  • Psychophysiology Association
  • Euroscience
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia Association
  • Trustee & Director – ARMA (the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance


  • M.A 1975 - Oxford
  • MB BS 1978 - London
  • MRCP 1981 - UK
  • MD 1992 - London
  • FRCP 1996 - UK

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Rheumatology Consultant, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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