Led by Dr. Mariana Kaplan, the branch studies autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, seeking treatments and improved outcomes.
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.
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. 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.
What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting disorder that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body. It also can cause you to feel overly tired (fatigue) and have trouble sleeping. Doctors do not fully understand what causes fibromyalgia, but people with the disorder are more sensitive to pain.
What is reactive arthritis? Reactive arthritis happens when an infection causes joint pain and swelling. A bacterial infection in the digestive or urinary tract or the genitals usually triggers the condition, but arthritis symptoms typically do not start until a few weeks after you have recovered from the infection. The most common features of reactive arthritis are inflammation of the joints (especially the knees and ankles), eyes, and urinary tract, but not everyone gets all three, or they might not happen at the same time.
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 epidermolysis bullosa? Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of rare diseases that cause fragile skin that leads to blisters and tearing. Tears, sores, and blisters in the skin happen when something rubs or bumps the skin. They can appear anywhere on the body. In severe cases, blisters may also develop inside the body. The symptoms of the disease usually begin at birth or during infancy and range from mild to severe.
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 Marfan syndrome? Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to make healthy connective tissue, which supports the bones, muscles, organs, and tissues in your body. The condition can affect different areas of the body, including: Bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Organs, such as the heart and lungs. Skin.
What is vitiligo? Vitiligo is a chronic (long-lasting) disorder that causes areas of skin to lose color. When skin cells that make color are attacked and destroyed, the skin turns a milky-white color. No one knows what causes vitiligo, but it may be an autoimmune disease. In people with autoimmune diseases, the immune cells attack the body’s own healthy tissues by mistake, instead of viruses or bacteria. A person with vitiligo sometimes may have family members who also have the disease. There is no cure for vitiligo, but treatment may help skin tone appear more even.
What is rosacea? Rosacea (ro-ZAY-she-ah) is a long-term skin condition that causes reddened skin and a rash, usually on the nose and cheeks. It may also cause eye problems.
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.
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.
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.
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.