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.
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 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.
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.
Work in the Livia Casciola-Rosen Lab explores the shared mechanisms present in autoimmune rheumatic diseases, specifically scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome and myositis. We use disease-specific autoantibodies to identify the factors that cause the autoimmune response in such diseases. Our current research involves identifying the antigen targets of autoimmune diseases, investigating the autoantigens targeted in cancers associated with rheumatic diseases and finding unique clinical biomarkers, such as the anti-HMGCR antibody specificity.
Work in the Rachel Damico Lab explores topics within the fields of vascular biology and pulmonary medicine, with a focus on acute lung injury and apoptosis in lung diseases. Our studies have included examining idiopathic and scleroderma-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension, vascular receptor autoantibodies, and the link between inflammation and the Warburg phenomenon in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. We have also researched the inhibitory factor of macrophage migration and its governing of endothelial cell sensitivity to LPS-induced apoptosis.
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.