The BWH Lupus Center has a rich history of research on lupus and continues to be the home of many important lupus research investigations. We are training the next generation of lupus physicians and investigators and have developed a comprehensive dedicated research program focusing on advancing the understanding and care of patients with this complex autoimmune illness. We are also proud to report that we have initiated and participated in numerous research studies and clinical trials.
For many years, Dr. Peter Schur has been a world leader in clinical care and immunologic testing for lupus. He has written extensively on lupus, including several comprehensive textbooks, and he is the head of the BWH Immunology laboratory. Our director, clinical investigator and epidemiologist, Dr. Karen Costenbader, has investigated possible causes of lupus, including reproductive hormones, environmental exposures, and dietary factors, as well as outcomes among those with lupus. Under the co-leadership of Drs. Elena Massarotti, Laura Tarter, and Candace Feldman, several clinical trials have been performed, and our involvement in community participatory research projects continue to grow.
A biobank of anonymous samples and clinical information has allowed study of new biomarkers of lupus disease activity and of genetic factors related to the risk of developing lupus. In the basic science laboratories, Drs. Deepak Rao, Paul Hoover and Anna Helena Jonsson, are investigating characteristics of individual immune cells in the blood and kidneys of patients with SLE. Many of our Lupus Center clinician-investigators are involved in research that ranges from the examinations of lupus nephritis and end-stage renal disease, avascular necrosis, skin disease in lupus, heart attacks and strokes, osteoporosis, pregnancy and reproductive issues to medication use and adherence among lupus patients.
Our Lupus Center is dedicated to identifying and addressing racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in lupus care and outcomes. This commitment can be seen through our clinical work, our research, and our community-based interventions and educational programs.