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URMC / Research / Research@URMC / September 2014 / Finding New Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus

Finding New Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus

Today, physicians and scientists are all too familiar with health care’s valley of death – the daunting gap between discoveries made in the laboratory and human clinical trials. Researchers at the Medical Center are joining the National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical companies, advocacy organizations and other academic medical centers to bridge that gap and speed the development of treatments for two common and debilitating autoimmune disorders – rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.woman with arthritic hands

As part of the NIH Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Network, URMC researchers, led by Jennifer H. Anolik, M.D., Ph.D. will study how immune cells communicate with bone cells to initiate the joint inflammation characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis. Ten other centers will also study biological mechanisms and pathways that lead to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and all data will be pooled to generate a comprehensive understanding of how tissue damage occurs. Based on this information, Network members will determine the most promising targets for the development of new diagnostic tools and therapies.

“To advance the field in drug development and find better treatments research teams have to work together,” said Anolik, an associate professor of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology. “As scientists, we tend to think in our own box, to focus on one cell that we believe is important in human disease. But human disease is so much more complicated than that. To go to the next level we need to integrate all sources of data.”

Read more about the new program and URMC’s participation here

Emily Boynton | 9/29/2014

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