Dr. Vikas Majithia with a patient with rheumatoid arthritis.

Patients & Families

 

Patients and families can find hope and make an impact on the search for a cure.

 

Learn about current research aiming to improve the lives of these patients living with rheumatic disease with funding from the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

 

Gary Firestein, MD

Gary Firestein, MD
University of California, San Diego

Joint damage and synovial inflammation in RA are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Epigenetics, which modifies DNA, is one of the key regulators of gene expression. Epigenetics offers new ways to think about environmental and stress exposure in inflamed tissue. One particular mechanism in epigenetics, known as methylation, can repress gene expression and change cell behavior. For RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS), a specialized cell in RA present in connective tissue, changes in the gene through methylation can be permanent. Using multiple datasets for RA FLS, Gary S. Firestein, MD of the University of California, San Diego discovered that a candidate gene, known as LBH, is connected to the onset and development of RA.  By studying the functions of LBH, Dr. Firestein could define mechanisms behind joint damage and synovial inflammation in RA. 

Elana Bernstein, MD, MSc

Dr. Bernstein is studying lung transplants for those with autoimmune diseases.

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Timothy Niewold, MD

Dr. Niewold's study could help patients find the right medication sooner.

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Veronique LefebVre, PhD

Dr. Lefebvre is using stem cells to better understand joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

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Three rheumatologists from the labs at Emory University

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