Led by Dr. Mariana Kaplan, the branch studies autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, seeking treatments and improved outcomes.
This public-private partnership seeks to develop new ways of identifying and validating promising biological targets for diagnostics and drug development.
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.
What is Paget’s disease? Paget’s disease of bone is a chronic (long-lasting) disorder that causes bones to grow larger and become weaker than normal. Usually only one or a few bones have the disease. Many people with Paget’s disease do not have symptoms. However, the bone changes can cause: Bone pain. Misshapen bones. Broken bones (fractures). Problems in the joints near the bones with the disease. With treatment, many people can: Manage their symptoms. Improve pain. Control the effects of the disease.
What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. This increases your risk of broken bones (fractures). Osteoporosis is a “silent” disease because you may not have symptoms. You may not even know you have the disease until you break a bone. Breaks can occur in any bone but happen most often in: Hip bones. Vertebrae in the spine. Wrist. You can take steps to help prevent osteoporosis and broken bones by: Doing weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or dancing, and lifting weights. Not drinking too much alcohol. Quitting smoking, or not starting if
What is Sjögren’s syndrome? Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic (long-lasting) disorder that happens when the immune system attacks the glands that make moisture in the eyes, mouth, and other parts of the body. The main symptoms are dry eyes and mouth, but the disorder may affect other parts of the body. Many people with Sjogren’s syndrome say they feel tired often (fatigue). They also may have joint and muscle pain. In addition, the disease can damage the lungs, kidneys, and nervous system.
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 fibrous dysplasia? Fibrous dysplasia happens when abnormal fibrous (scar-like) tissue replaces healthy bone. The fibrous tissue weakens the bone over time, which can lead to: Broken bones. Bones that are misshapen (bowed or crooked). The disease can affect any bone in the body. Some people have no symptoms or only a few symptoms. Other people may have more symptoms. Although there is no cure for fibrous dysplasia, treatments may help to lessen pain, and physical therapy may help strengthen muscle and improve movement.
What is pemphigus? Pemphigus is a rare disease that causes blistering on many parts of the body, including the skin and the inside of the mouth, nose, throat, eyes, and genitals. In pemphigus, the immune system mistakenly attacks cells in the top layer of the skin.
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.
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.’
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