Led by Dr. Mariana Kaplan, the branch studies autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, seeking treatments and improved outcomes.
Dr. Lewandowski leads a team of scientists studying the genetics of early-onset systemic lupus erythematosus patients in populations around the globe. Her research focuses on genetic drivers of severe disease and inflammation in diverse cohorts worldwide.
Sarthak Gupta, M.D., conducts research to better understand sex differences in neutrophil biology. He is also an investigator on several ongoing clinical trials in systemic lupus erythematosus at the NIH.
Dr. Kaplan’s research focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms that promote the initiation and perpetuation of perturbed immune responses and the development of organ damage and premature vascular disease in systemic autoimmunity.
This public-private partnership seeks to develop new ways of identifying and validating promising biological targets for diagnostics and drug development.
What is ankylosing spondylitis? Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in certain parts of the spine. Over time, this inflammation in the joints and tissues of the spine can cause stiffness. In severe cases, this may cause the bones in the spine to grow together, which can lead to a rigid spine that is difficult to bend. Many people with ankylosing spondylitis have mild episodes of back pain and stiffness that come and go. But others have severe, ongoing back pain and stiffness. Other symptoms also may develop if other areas of the body are affected
What are growth plate injuries? The growth plate is the area of tissue near the ends of long bones in children and teens that determines what length and shape the bone will be once it is done growing. Each long bone— the thigh bone, the bones in the forearm, and the bones in the hands and fingers—has at least two growth plates, one at each end. Once your child has finished growing, the growth plates close and are replaced by solid bone. The growth plates are weak areas of your child’s growing skeleton, making it easier to injure them. Injuries
What is osteonecrosis? Your bones are made up of living cells that need a blood supply to stay healthy. In osteonecrosis, blood flow to part of a bone is reduced. This causes death of bone tissue, and the bone can eventually break down and the joint will collapse. Osteonecrosis can happen to any bone, but most often it develops in the ends of long bones, such as the: Thigh bone. Upper arm bone. Less often, the bones of the elbows, ankles, feet, wrists, and hands are affected. When the disease involves part of a bone in a joint, it can
What is spinal stenosis? Spinal stenosis happens when the spaces in the spine narrow and create pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that comes out of the base of the brain and runs down the center of the spine. The nerve roots branch out from the cord. In spinal stenosis, the narrowing usually occurs over time.
What is systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)? Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is a chronic (long-lasting) autoimmune disease that can affect many parts of the body, including the: Skin. Joints. Heart. Lungs. Kidneys. Brain. Lupus happens when the immune system, which normally helps protect the body from infection and disease, attacks its own tissues. This attack causes inflammation and, in some cases, permanent tissue damage. If you have lupus, you may have times of illness (flares) and times of wellness (remission). Lupus flares can be mild to serious, and they do not follow a pattern. However, with treatment, many people with lupus
What is gout? Gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in your joints, usually as flares that last for a week or two, and then go away. Gout flares often begin in your big toe or a lower limb. Gout happens when high levels of a substance called serum urate build up in your body. When this happens, needle-shaped crystals form in and around the joint. This leads to inflammation and arthritis of the joint. However, many people with high levels of serum urate will not develop gout. With early diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle changes, gout
Research supported by the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (RA/SLE) provides new insights into tissue damage for these autoimmune conditions. Findings include the identification of novel molecular signatures related to immune system signaling in kidney cells that may reflect their active role in disease process; molecular targets, including specific white blood cells, for potential treatment in lupus nephritis; and specific types of fibroblasts and white blood cells that are involved in rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientists can distinguish between highly similar cell types using cutting-edge laboratory procedures. Using such techniques, IRP researchers have identified a particular variety of cell in a specific stage of its life cycle as a primary culprit behind the autoimmune disease known as lupus.
Known as the “disease with a thousand faces,” systemic lupus erythematosus is a lifelong autoimmune disease with a wide range of symptoms and signs—fatigue, fever, joint pain, facial rash and skin lesions, shortness of breath, and more. It may develop suddenly or slowly and be mild or severe, with people affected going through periods of flare up and remission of their symptoms.
What are polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis? Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis are closely linked inflammatory disorders. Some people have one of the disorders while others develop both of them. Polymyalgia rheumatica causes muscle pain and stiffness in the shoulders, upper arms, hip area, and sometimes the neck. Giant cell arteritis causes inflammation of arteries, especially those on each side of the head, scalp, and the aorta (the large artery that carries blood from the heart) and its main branches. The main symptoms of this disorder are: Headaches. Scalp tenderness. Jaw pain. Problems with your eyes, which may
Researchers have identified a potential treatment to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a chronic autoimmune disease.
Video of a Facebook Live discussion on lupus research, treatment, and care, moderated by Rev. Cheryl Ward and featuring experts in the field.
Sometimes, your immune system makes mistakes. If it sees your body’s healthy cells as a threat, it may attack them. This can cause an autoimmune disorder.
Dr. Kaplan has studied a number of autoimmune diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to vasculitis, but most of her efforts have been focused on what she calls “the poster child” for autoimmune diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), more commonly referred to as ‘lupus.’