Consultant Profile

Dr Harsha Gunawardena

Dr Harsha Gunawardena MRCP(UK), PhD
Practicing at:
Spire Bristol Hospital
  • Rheumatology
    • Connective Tissue Disease
Special clinical interests:

General Rheumatology including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Spondyloarthropathy, Gout/Pseudogout and Osteoarthritis
Inflammatory muscle diseases including polymyositis and dermatomyositis
Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Sjogren’s syndrome
Mixed connective tissue disease
Antiphospholipid syndrome
Vasculitis including Wegener’s granulomatosis, Churg Strauss, Polyarteritis nodosa, Microscopic polyangiitis
Interstitial lung disease associated with connective tissue disease
Immunology (diagnostic autoantibody testing and interpretation)

Research interests:

Myositis – disease markers and novel therapies
Diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis – treatment option and disease severity
Autoantibody identification in autoimmune connective tissue disease

Current NHS and /or university posts:

Consultant Rheumatologist and Lead Consultant Connective Tissue Diseases
North Bristol NHS Trust

Year of first medical qualification:
1997 MBChB University of Bristol
Current membership(s) of professional, national and regional bodies:

UK Myositis Network Steering Committee Lead
UK Juvenile Myositis Research Group Scientific Advisor
International and European Myositis Networks
UK Myositis Support Group Medical Advisor
UK Scleroderma Study Group
UK Vasculitis Study Group
Royal College of Physicians UK
British Society of Rheumatology
Paediatric Rheumatology European Society

Contact Details 
Telephone number to make a private appointment:
0117 980 4070
Private secretary telephone number:
0117 340 8510
Personal email address:
Tuesday evenings (other times available on request - please contact on direct number or email)
Background Information 
Professional profile:

I qualified from Bristol University, and then worked in Bristol and Australia. I dual trained in Rheumatology and General Medicine on the Southwest training rotation. With a view to specialise in autoimmune connective tissue disease and vasculitis I undertook a clinical research fellowship under the mentorship of Professor Neil McHugh at the Royal National Hospital of Rheumatic Diseases in Bath. I was subsequently awarded an Arthritis Research UK Research Fellowship in Paediatric Rheumatology to research immunological aspects of juvenile dermatomyositis with the UK Juvenile Myositis Research Group. This combined with collaborative studies with the UK Adult Myositis Research Network led to my PhD thesis “Clinical and serological study of adult and juvenile myositis”.

I continue to have a major academic interest in connective tissue disease and myositis. I am on the UK Myositis Network Steering committee, scientific advisor to the UK Juvenile Myositis Research Group, in addition to other UK connective tissue disease study groups. I am widely published in major international rheumatology journals, and have written several invited myositis review articles. I have spoken at several international meetings including the American College of Rheumatology Annual Congress (2010) and the European Science Foundation Myositis Workshop (2011).

As a NHS Consultant I run both General Rheumatology and Autoimmune Connective Tissue Disease Clinics at North Bristol NHS Trust. I look after patients with all forms of inflammatory arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis. I am the lead Consultant for Connective Tissue Disease and Vasculitis for the Rheumatology Department, and I am fully experienced in using novel immunomodulatory treatments including biologic therapy for these complex conditions.

Personal profile:

I am married to Ana and we have 3 little boys who keep us happily very busy. We love travelling to see our respective families in Sri Lanka and Argentina.

You will often find me running around the Downs training for 10K and half-marathons, although my marathon running days are over! I am also a keen road-cyclist, and love cricket and golf with my boys.

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Dr Harsha Gunawardena

Dr Harsha Gunawardena Rheumatology Consultant, Bristol, private hospital specialist.

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)