Associate Professor Mihir Wechalekar

Academic Status

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Flinders Medical Centre
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr Wechalekar is a Specialist in Rheumatology (FRACP) and Associate Professor, Flinders University, College of Medicine & Public Health. He directs the synovial tissue bank based at the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide (the only such facility in Australia) and has expertise in synovial biopsy analyses. His areas of interest are synovial membrane pathology, in health and disease, particularly early rheumatoid arthritis. Dr Wechalekar's work has fostered several national and international collaborations, book chapters and journal publications. He is also a member of the steering committee of the A3BC (Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative), a nation-wide collaborative biobanking project.

Website: Rheumatology Inflammatory Arthritis - Flinders University


PhD (Flinders University)




Honours, awards and grants


  • 2022-2025 US-NIH (National Institutes of Health) Accelerating Medicines Partnership. RA disease reconstruction.
  • 2022-2026 NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) Centres for Research Excellence (CRE) Grant. CRE for Better Outcomes in Inflammatory Arthritis.
  • 2022-2025 NHMRC Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Preventive & Public Health Research (PPHR) Grant. Cost-Utility Comparison of Down-Titration Strategies for Safer and More Efficient Use of Biologics in Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Psoriatic Arthritis
  • 2022 Arthritis Australia (AA) Project Grant. Linking the presence of live Ileal-derived bacteria in the joint as a triggering factor for the development of Spondyloarthropathy.
  • 2021-2023 NHMRC Ideas Grant. Targeting PD-1 expressing T-peripheral helper (Tph) cells and dysregulated checkpoint molecules: Improving outcomes in RA
  • 2021 Barbara Cameron Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) Research Establishment Fellowship for the project "Improving outcomes in RA: Investigating mechanisms of biologic disease-modifying drug response, or lack thereof, by an integrated genomic and biological marker approach".
  • 2020-2022 US Dept of Defense (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs): Identifying Antigen-Specific T and B Cells in Seronegative RA Synovial Tissue: Implications for Antigen-Specific Immunotherapy
  • 2018, 2019 The Bruce Miller-ARA Post-Doctoral Fellowship “Improving outcomes in RA”
  • 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Gap Grant -bone markers in RA
  • 2011-2014 NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) PhD Scholarship
  • 2013, 2014 AA and ARA Postgraduate Scholarship
  • 2012-13 Flinders Centre for Clinical Change & Health Care Research Scholarship
  • 2011 Foundation Daw Park Grant


To research group

  • 2022: Travel bursary to present research at EULAR (European Association), Copenhagen, to Annabelle Small
  • 2021: Philip Alpers award for oral paper presentation (Basic Science): SA ARA. Award to Annabelle Small.
  • 2021: First prize for oral presentation (Basic Science): National ARA. Award to Pascale Wehr.

Flinders University Early Career researcher award Dr MD Wechalekar (2017)

Key responsibilities
  • Rheumatology Consultant- Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, based at the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC)
  • International Co-Chair- Synovial Tissue special interest group (SIG) of the OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Rheum Clinical Trials) organisation
  • Lead- Rheumatology Synovial tissue laboratory for translational research, based at FMC
  • Lead- Tissue (Synovial) for Australian & Arthritis Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative (A3BC)