Professional background

Dr Cathrine Clare Thornton joined UCLH as a consultant rheumatologist in 2019. She leads the osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease service. Her work encompasses improving the skeletal health for the local population as well as caring for the skeletal side effects of the many patients at UCLH with long term disorders for which osteoporosis is a long term complication. She also runs a general rheumatology clinic and enjoys caring for patients with inflammatory arthritis, gout and chronic pain.

Prior to joining UCLH, Dr Thornton completed registrar training in rheumatology in north London. She was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Training fellowship in 2009, to undertake work leading to a PhD from Imperial College London. Her PhD was awarded in 2014 for research into the vascular effects of the disease-modifying drug, methotrexate, commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Her training in osteoporosis began at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hopsital, Stanmore, and she also ran a metabolic bone disease clinic at the Homerton Hospital when part of their consultant body from 2016 - 2018.

She is regularly involved in teaching medical students, junior doctors and other specialties whose patients are at risk of osteoporosis.


Research interests

Osteoporosis secondary to other medical conditions and their treatment


  • Methotrexate-mediated activation of an AMPK-CREB-dependent pathway: a novel mechanism for vascular protection in chronic systemic inflammation.
    Thornton CC, Al-Rashed F, Calay D, Birdsey GM, Bauer A, Mylroie H, Morley BJ, Randi AM, Haskard DO, Boyle JJ, Mason JC.
    Ann Rheum Dis. 2016 Feb;75(2):439-48. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206305. Epub 2015 Jan 9.
  • Identification of cyclins A1, E1 and vimentin as downstream targets of heme oxygenase-1 in vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated angiogenesis.
    Bauer A, Mylroie H, Thornton CC, Calay D, Birdsey GM, Kiprianos AP, Wilson GK, Soares MP, Yin X, Mayr M, Randi AM, Mason JC.
    Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 8;6:29417. doi: 10.1038/srep29417.
  • Celecoxib exerts protective effects in the vascular endothelium via COX-2-independent activation of AMPK-CREB-Nrf2 signalling.
    Al-Rashed F, Calay D, Lang M, Thornton CC, Bauer A, Kiprianos A, Haskard DO, Seneviratne A, Boyle JJ, Schönthal AH, Wheeler-Jones CP, Mason JC.
    Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 19;8(1):6271. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24548-z.
  • Mouyis MA, Thornton CC, Williams D, Giles IP. Pregnancy Outcomes in Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2017 Jan;44(1):128-129.
  • Mylroie H, Dumont O, Bauer A, Thornton CC, Mackey J, Calay D, Hamdulay SS, Choo JR, Boyle JJ, Samarel AM, Randi AM, Evans PC, Mason JC. PKCε-CREB-Nrf2 signalling induces HO-1 in the vascular endothelium and enhances resistance to inflammation and apoptosis. Cardiovasc Res. 2015 Jun 1;106(3):509-19.
  • Thornton C, Ambrose N and Ioannou Y. Ofatumumab: a novel treatment for severe SLE Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 Dec
  • Hamdulay SS, Wang B, Calay D, Kiprianos AP, Cole J, Dumont O, Dryden N, Randi AM, Thornton CC, Al-Rashed F, Hoong C, Shamsi A, Liu Z, Holla VR, Boyle JJ, Haskard DO, Mason JC. Synergistic therapeutic vascular cytoprotection against complement-mediated injury induced via a PKA-, AMPK-, and CREB-dependent pathway. J Immunol. 2014 May 1;192(9):4316-27.
  • Dumont O, Mylroie H, Bauer A, Calay D, Sperone A, Thornton C, Hamdulay SS, Ali N, Boyle JJ, Choo JR, Samarel AM, Haskard DO, Randi AM, Evans PC, Mason JC. Protein kinase Cε activity induces anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic genes via an ERK1/2- and NF-κB-dependent pathway to enhance vascular protection. Biochem J. 2012 Oct 15;447(2):193-204.
  • Thornton C, Maher T, Hansell D, Nicholson AG, Wells AU.
    Pulmonary fibrosis associated with anti-psychotic drug therapy.
    J Med Case Reports. 2009 Nov 16; 3: 126.
  • Thornton C, Ong V, Ward J, Kennedy N, Steuer A.
    Parenteral methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis: a pre-requisite for use of biologic agents?
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2008 Sep; 47(9): 1438.
  • Gourley C, Thornton C, Massie C, Prescott RJ, Turner M, Leonard RC, Kilpatrick DC.
    Is there a relationship between HLA type and prognostic factors in breast cancer?
    Anti Cancer Research. 2003 Jan-Feb; 23 (1B): 633-8.