Vinod Chandran

Vinod Chandran MB, BS, MD, DM, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine
Vinod Chandran
Contact Info
T: (416) 603-5912
F: (416) 603-9387
University Health Network (UHN): Toronto Western Hospital
399 Bathurst St.
1E 416
Toronto, ON, M5T 2S8
Appointment Status Cross-Appointed
Research Interests
Genetics Genomics & Proteomics, Infectious Diseases & Immunopathology

Dr. Vinod Chandran MBBS MD DM PhD, a rheumatologist and clinician-scientist, is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Affiliate Scientist with the Krembil Research Institute, a staff physician at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospitals and an associate member of the graduate faculty at the Institute of Medical Science and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. He co-directs the Psoriatic Arthritis Program at the University Health Network.

Dr. Chandran has expertise in the genetic and molecular epidemiology and immunology of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, especially with respect to prognosis. His current research is focused on developing a soluble biomarker-based screening and prognostic tool for psoriatic arthritis, a potentially debilitating inflammatory arthritis, as well as identifying and reducing barriers to multidisciplinary care of patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. His bench research aims to identify mechanisms underlying inflammation and joint damage in psoriatic arthritis for the purpose of novel drug development. His current research is supported by research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, AbbVie Canada and the Krembil Foundation.

Dr. Chandran’s research focuses in the identification of psoriatic disease biological markers with the use of transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic approaches. His research further aims to identify the mechanisms underlying inflammation, joint damage and pain in psoriatic disease. The ultimate goal of Dr. Chandran’s work is translating these findings into the development of novel therapeutics with the help of bioinformatics and augmented intelligence.


Research Synopsis

PsA is a disease that often strikes young adults at the prime of their productive years and is associated with high work productivity loss. The mean annual direct cost of PsA in patients seen at my centre is $15,802, the cost being higher in those with severe disease. Delayed diagnosis and consequent inability to obtain appropriate treatment leads to worse joint damage and often long-term disability. The diagnosis of PsA is often delayed because current clinical assessment tools are subjective and rely considerably on physician judgment. These tools are unreliable in the hands of non-rheumatologists who usually are the front-line physicians coming into contact with patients. Currently no robust tools exist for the assessment of disease activity or for prognosis. My research targets clinical practices in diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of PsA. Using recent technological breakthroughs in ‘omics’ (proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics), bioinformatics, and augmented intelligence platforms and having access to a large cohort of well-phenotyped patients, I intend to develop tools to facilitate more efficient management of patients with PsA.

I envision developing innovative evaluation tools that physicians will use at initial point-of-contact with patients so that inflammatory arthritis and its associated comorbidities are identified early. Psoriasis along with its associated comorbidities– psoriatic disease– is especially suited for a collaborative approach since this relatively common skin disease is associated with musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, ophthalmic, cardiovascular and psychiatric comorbidities. My strength in building well-fit collaborations will ensure comprehensive results. My focus is on early diagnosis, prognostication and treatment of PsA. Among the inflammatory arthritides, PsA provides a unique opportunity for early diagnosis and prognostication since most patients develop PsA either simultaneously with or after onset of psoriasis. I intend to evaluate psoriasis subjects as a target high-risk group to identify PsA; this strategy will be more efficient than screening the general population. My knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) activities include conducting studies to define the current level of awareness of and practices relating to the diagnosis and referral of PsA and its comorbidities among clinicians and patients.

The specific goals of my research program over the next 5 years are to:

  1. develop a soluble biomarker-based screening tool for PsA
  2. identify biomarkers for joint damage in PsA 
  3. identify mechanisms for persistent synovial inflammation in psoriatic joints
  4. identify novel drug targets for management of PsA
  5. establish community-based registry of patients with PsA.

My translational research endeavour aims to develop integrated identification and care pathways with targeted aggressive therapy to improve long-term PsA outcomes. Simultaneously, integrated KTE studies with patient-research partners, dermatologists and rheumatologists will focus on evaluating the barriers to identifying and stratifying PsA.

Future studies will evaluate clinical performance and cost-effectiveness of biomarker-based approaches to routine clinical evaluation. PsA has a significant economic impact; annual healthcare costs are considerable. Delayed diagnosis and disease severity is associated with higher costs. Early diagnosis and better treatment will prevent joint damage, reduce disability, limit comorbidities, and improve quality of life of more than a million Canadians suffering from psoriasis and PsA.

The University of Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) Research Program located at Toronto Western Hospital has established large prospective cohorts of patients with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis as well as healthy controls. Patients are well phenotyped with the collection of extensive clinical, laboratory and radiographic information on a longitudinal basis. Corresponding biologic specimens are routinely collected and banked. The PsA Program also includes a basic science laboratory consisting of 300 feet located on the 5th floor of the Krembil Discovery Tower allowing for extensive translational work in biomarker discovery and drug development.

The PsA Program is the coordinating centre for International Psoriatic Arthritis Research Team (IPART) and has been selected as the core facility for the BioDam project of the international Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) to identify biomarkers for damage in psoriatic arthritis.

Publications and Awards

View PubMed search of this faculty member's recent publications.

Recent Publications

Elmamoun M, Chandran V. Role of Methotrexate in the Management of Psoriatic Arthritis. Drugs. 2018 Apr 3; Impact Factor 5 (Trainee publication, Musaab Elmamoun, Clinical Research Fellow). Senior Responsible Author.

Oikonomopoulou K, Diamandis EP, Hollenberg MD, Chandran V. Proteinases and their receptors in inflammatory arthritis: an overview. Nature Reviews in Rheumatology. 2018 Mar;14:170-80. Impact Factor 12.188. Senior Responsible Author.

Cretu D, Gao L, Liang K, Soosaipillai A, Diamandis EP, Chandran V. Differentiating psoriatic arthritis from psoriasis without psoriatic arthritis using novel serum biomarkers. Arthritis Care and Research (Hoboken). 2018 Mar;70(3):454-461. Impact Factor 4.713 (Trainee publication). Senior Responsible Author.

Mehandran SM, Chandran V. Exploring the psoriatic arthritis proteome in search of novel biomarkers. Proteoms. 2018 Jan;10.3390/proteomes6010005. Available from: (Trainee publication, Shalini Mahendran, Graduate Student). Senior Responsible Author.

Abji F, Pollock RA, Liang K, Chandran V, Gladman DD. Th17 gene expression in psoriatic arthritis synovial fluid and peripheral blood compared to osteoarthritis and cutaneous psoriasis. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. 2017 Nov 9. Impact Factor 2.724. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Mahendran SM, Oikonomopoulou K. Diamandis EP, Chandran V. Synovial fluid proteomics in the pursuit of arthritis mediators: An evolving field of novel biomarker discovery. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Science. 2017 Nov;54(7-8):495-505. Impact Factor 5.06 (Trainee publication, Shalini Mahendran, Graduate Student). Senior Responsible Author.

Ibrahim A, Gladman DD, Thavaneswaran A, Eder L, Helliwell P, Cook RJ, Chandran V. Sensitivity and Specificity of Radiographic Scoring Instruments for Detecting Change in Axial Psoriatic Arthritis. Arthritis Care and Research (Hoboken). 2017 Nov;69(11):1700-1705. Impact Factor 4.713 (Trainee publication). Senior Responsible Author.

Dand N, Mucha S, Tsoi LC, Mahil SK, Stuart PE, Arnold A, Baurecht H, Burden AD, Duffin KC, Chandran V, Curtis CJ, Das S, Ellinghaus D, Ellinghaus E, Enerback C, Esko T, Gladman DD, Griffiths CEM, Gudjonsson JE, Hoffman P, Homuth G, Hüffmeier U, Krueger GG, Laudes M, Lee SH, Lieb W, Lim HW, Löhr S, Mrowietz U, Müller-Nurayid M, Nöthen M, Peters A, Rahman P, Reis A, Reynolds NJ, Rodriguez E, Schmidt CO, Spain SL, Strauch K, Tejasvi T, Voorhees JJ, Warren RB, Weichenthal M, Weidinger S, Zawistowski M, Nair RP, Capon F, Smith CH, Trembath RC, Abecasis GR, Elder JT, Franke A, Simpson MA, Barker JN. Exome-wide association study reveals novel psoriasis susceptibility locus at TNFSF15 and rare protective alleles in genes contributing to type I IFN signalling. Human Molecular Genetics. 2017 Aug 24. Impact Factor 5.985. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Berinstein J, Pollock R, Pellett F, Thavaneswaran A, Chandran V, Gladman DD. Association of variably expressed KIR3dl1 alleles with psoriatic diseases. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 2017 Aug 11;36(10):2261-6. Impact Factor 1.245 (Trainee publication, Jeffrey Berinstein, Undergraduate). Coauthor or Collaborator.

Elder J, Tsoi L, Stuart P, Tian C, Gudjonsson J, Das S, Zawistowski M, Ellinghaus E, Barker J, Chandran V, Dand N, Callis-Duffin K. Enerback C, Esko T, Franke A, Gladman D, Hoffman P, Kingo K. Koks S, Krueger G, Lim H, Metspalu A, Mrowietz U, Mucha S, Rahman P, EReis A, Tejasvi T, Trembath R, Voorhees J. Weidinger S, Weichenthal M, Wen X, Eriksson N, Kang HM Hinds D, Nair R, Abecasis G. Large scale meta-analysis characterizes genetic architecture for common psoriasis-associated variants. Nature Communications. 2017 May 24;24(8):15382. Impact Factor 12.124. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Ibrahim A, Gladman DD, Thaveneswaran A, Eder L, Helliwell P, Cook RJ, Chandran V. Radiographic scoring instruments have moderate sensitivity, but high specificity for detecting change in axial psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis Care and Research. 2017 Jan 13;doi: 10.1002/acr.23189. Impact Factor 4.713 (Trainee publication). Senior Responsible Author.

Muntyanu A, Abji F, Liang K, Pollock RA, Chandran V, Gladman DD. Differential gene and protein expression of chemokines and cytokines in synovial fluid of patients with arthritis. Arthritis Research and Therapy. 2016 Dec 13;18(1):296. Impact Factor 3.979 (Trainee publication). Coauthor or Collaborator.

Abji F, Pollock RA, Liang K, Chandran V, Gladman DD. C-X-C Motif Chemokine 10 is a Possible Biomarker for the Development of Psoriatic Arthritis among Patients with Psoriasis. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 2016 Dec;68(12):2911-6. Impact Factor 8.955. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Perruccio AV, Chandran V, Power JD, Kapoor M, Mahomed NN, Gandhi R. Systemic inflammation and painful joint burden in osteoarthritis: A Matter of Sex? Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2016 Aug 18;25(1):53-59. Impact Factor 4.535. Coauthor or Collaborator.

Stuart PE, Nair RP, Tsoi LC, Tejasvi T, Das S, Kang HM, Ellinghaus E, Chandran V, Callis-Duffin K, Ike R, Li Y, Wen X, Enerbäck C, Gudjonsson JE, Kõks S, Kingo K, Esko T, Mrowietz U, Reis A, Wichmann HE, Gieger C, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Winkelmann J, Kunz M, Moreta EG, Mease PJ, Ritchlin CT, Bowcock AM, Krueger GG, Lim HW, Weidinger S, Weichenthal M, Voorhees JJ, Rahman P, Gregersen PK, Franke A, Gladman DD, Abecasis GR, Elder JT. Genome-wide association analysis of psoriatic arthritis and cutaneous psoriasis reveals differences in their genetic architecture. The American Journal of Human Genetics. 2015 Dec;97(6):816-36. Impact Factor 10.931. Coauthor or Collaborator.