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 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.