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Clinical and Molecular Rheumatology Labs

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  • Alan Baer Lab

    Research in the Alan Baer Lab focuses on Sjogren's syndrome. Previously, we conducted the Sjogren's International Registry (SICCA), enrolling 300 patients and creating a valuable source of clinical data and biospecimens for research we're conducting with colleagues at Johns Hopkins and the University of California-San Francisco. Currently, we're conducting a longitudinal observational study of patients with Sjogren's syndrome. We're also collaborating with Dr. Ben Larman in the Department of Pathology, using phage immuno-precipation sequencing to work on a characterization of the complete autoantibody repertoire in Sjogren's syndrome patients.

    Research Areas: autoantibodies, Sjogren's syndrome, autoimmune rheumatic diseases, observational data

    Principal Investigator

    Alan Baer, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Allan Gelber Lab

    The Allan Gelber Lab conducts research on the clinical epidemiology of rheumatic disorders. Our recent studies have explored topics that include the predicting factors of prevalent and incident gout; cardiovascular disease burden and risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis; autoantibodies in both primary and secondary SjogrenÕs syndrome; and predictors of outcomes in patients with scleroderma. In addition, we have a long-standing interest in the ways in which racial differences affect disease manifestations in relation to rheumatic disorders.

    Research Areas: rheumatology, gout, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, race, health disparities, rheumatoid arthritis

    Principal Investigator

    Allan Gelber, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Ami Shah Lab

    Researchers in the Ami Shah Lab study scleroderma and Raynaud’s phenomenon. We examine the relationship between cancer and scleroderma, with a focus on how and if cancer causes scleroderma to develop in some patients. We are currently conducting clinical research to study ways to detect cardiopulmonary complications in patients with scleroderma, biological and imaging markers of Raynaud’s phenomenon, and drugs that improve aspects of scleroderma.

    Research Areas: Raynaud's phenomenon, cancer, scleroderma, drugs, cardiovascular diseases

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Ami Shah, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Ana-Marie Orbai Lab

    The Ana-Marie Orbai Lab focuses on inflammatory arthritis. Current clinical research projects in the lab examine patient symptoms and experiences in rheumatic diseases and inflammatory arthritis. We focus on stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis and patient-reported outcomes. Previous research in the lab focused on systemic lupus erythemaous (SLE).

    Research Areas: autoimmune rheumatic diseases, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Ana-Maria Orbai, M.D., M.H.S.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Antony Rosen Lab

    Research in the Antony Rosen Lab investigates the mechanisms shared by the autoimmune rheumatic diseases such as lupus, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and SjogrenÕs syndrome. We focus on the fate of autoantigens in target cells during various circumstances, such as viral infection, relevant immune effector pathways and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Our recent research has sought to define the traits of autoantibodies that enable them to induce cellular or molecular dysfunction. We also work to better understand the mechanisms that form the striking connections between autoimmunity and cancer.

    Research Areas: myositis, lupus, rheumatology, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, autoimmune rheumatic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis

    Principal Investigator

    Antony Rosen, M.B.Ch.B., M.S.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Clifton O. Bingham III Lab

    Research in the Clifton O. Bingham III Lab focuses on defining clinical and biochemical disease phenotypes related to therapeutic responses in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis; developing rational clinical trial designs to test new treatments; improving patient-reported outcome measures; evaluating novel imaging modalities for arthritis; and examining the role of oral health in inflammatory arthritis.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, imaging, osteoarthritis, clinical trials, inflammation, oral health, rheumatoid arthritis

    Principal Investigator

    Clifton O. Bingham, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Erika Darrah Lab

    The Erika Darrah Lab is primarily interested in the mechanisms underlying the development and progression of autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with a particular focus on the peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD) enzymes. We’re focused on understanding the development of PAD4-activating autoantibodies over time and how they contribute to the development of erosive disease. Studies are underway to determine if the newly discovered antibody is mimicking a naturally occurring PAD4 binding partner and to identify potentially pro-inflammatory effects of citrullinated proteins on effector cells of the immune system.

    Research Areas: antibodies, autoimmune diseases, peptidylarginine deiminase enzymes, rheumatoid arthritis

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Erika Darrah, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Felipe Andrade Laboratory

    Research in the laboratory of Felipe Andrade, M.D., Ph.D., focuses on the mechanisms of systemic autoimmune diseases, particularly as they relate to the role of cytotoxic granule proteases in autoimmunity and viral clearance, mechanisms of autoantigen citrullination and pathways that control immune effector functions in autoimmune diseases. We currently focus on two principal areas: (1) defining the mechanisms that generate citrullinated autoantigens in vivo in rheumatoid arthritis and (2) understanding the pathways that control the activity of the peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) enzymes in human neutrophils.

    Research Areas: autoantigens, autoimmune diseases, cytotoxic granule proteases, peptidylarginine deiminase enzymes, rheumatoid arthritis

    Principal Investigator

    Felipe Andrade, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Fredrick Wigley Lab

    The Frederick Wigley Lab is interested in the signs, symptoms and causes of scleroderma. We are testing new treatments for RaynaudÕs phenomenon and scleroderma. Understanding the treatment approach to Raynaud's phenomenon and associated ischemia and how to prevent digital ulcers is important for clinicians caring for these patients. Work in our lab has provided guidance in the management of Raynaud's phenomenon and digital ischemic ulcers, including options for the practical pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions.

    Research Areas: Raynaud's phenomenon, rheumatology, scleroderma, autoimmune diseases, systemic sclerosis, ischemic ulcers

    Principal Investigator

    Fredrick Wigley, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Grant Louie Lab

    The Grant Louie Lab studies spondyloarthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis and nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis. We capture data and biological specimens from patients with spondyloarthritis. We hope to precisely phenotype patients with spondyloarthritis and to study the specimens to understand the pathogenesis of the disease. Our goal is to develop novel therapeutic targets of the disease.

    Research Areas: ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatology, nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis, spondyloarthritis, arthritis

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Grant Louie

    Department

    Medicine

  • John Aucott Lab

    Research in the John Aucott Lab focuses on the development of accurate diagnostic tests for all stages of Lyme disease. We work closely with Dr. Mark Soloski on the Study of Lyme disease Immunology and Clinical Events (SLICE), a longitudinal, matched-control study of patients diagnosed with early untreated Lyme disease. The objective is to use the collected biological samples to help identify novel Lyme disease biomarkers that can inform diagnoses, outcomes and the knowledge about disease pathophysiology.

    Research Areas: clinical outcomes, gender differences, biomarkers, pathophysiology, immune heterogeneity, Lyme disease

    Principal Investigator

    John Aucott, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Laura Hummers Lab

    The Laura Hummers Lab participates in a number of clinical trials and clinical investigations at the Scleroderma Center at Johns Hopkins. We have a particular interest in the predictors of outcomes in scleroderma. We’ve established a prospective cohort of 300 scleroderma patients to identify incident vascular outcomes in the hopes of identifying new biomarkers for disease development and progression.

    Research Areas: rheumatology, biomarkers, scleroderma

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Laura Hummers, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Paul Rothman Lab

    Research in the Paul Rothman Lab has focused on cytokines. We’ve investigated the role these molecules play in the normal development of blood cells as well as the abnormal blood-cell development that leads to leukemia. We’ve also studied the function of cytokines in immune system responses to asthma and allergies.

    Research Areas: leukemia, asthma, allergies, cytokines, immune system

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Paul Rothman, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Philip Seo Lab

    Research interests in the Philip Seo Lab include the assessment and treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitides, particularly Churg-Strauss syndrome, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis.

    Research Areas: microscopic polyangiitis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Churg-Strauss syndrome, autoimmune diseases

    Principal Investigator

    Philip Seo, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Rebecca Manno Lab

    The Rebecca Manno Lab studies the effects of rheumatic diseases, particularly inflammatory arthritis and vasculitis, on older adults’ muscles, strength and function. Other research examines the impact of resistance exercise and nutrition on muscle, strength and inflammation in patients with inflammatory arthritis and vasculitis.

    Research Areas: nutrition, rheumatology, vasculitis, exercise, arthritis

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Rebecca Manno

    Department

    Medicine

  • Thomas Grader-Beck Lab

    Research in the Thomas Grader-Beck Lab aims to understand the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases—particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren’s syndrome—by taking a translational approach. Autoantibodies (antibodies that target self-molecules) are believed to contribute significantly to the disease process. We are studying mechanisms that may make self-structures immunogenic. We theorize that certain post-translational antigen modifications, which can occur in infections or malignant transformation, result in the expression of neoepitopes that spread autoimmunity in the proper setting. The team has combined studies that employ a number of mouse strains, certain gene-deficient mice and human biological specimens.

    Research Areas: Sjogren's syndrome, antibodies, autoimmune diseases, self-molecules, systemic lupus erythematosus

    Principal Investigator

    Thomas Grader-Beck, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Zsuzsanna McMahan Lab

    The Zsuzsanna McMahan Lab conducts translational research that seeks to identify the novel antigens in scleroderma and to define the target tissue in this disease. We are conducting two active clinical research trials, including one that studies skin biopsy specimens as biomarkers of scleroderma and the response to mycophenolate mofetil (MMF or Cellcept). The other study is a gastrointestinal involvement registry that follows patients who are experiencing GERD, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, constipation, fecal incontinence and gastroparesis to see if there is improvement in symptoms after a change in treatment is implemented.

    Research Areas: gastrointestinal system, rheumatology, biomarkers, scleroderma, antigens, mycophenolate mofetil

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Zsuzsanna McMahan, M.D., M.H.S.

    Department

    Medicine

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