The cells and mediators of the immune system function together in a highly complex network to maintain the integrity of the body in the face of potentially damaging microbes in our environment. When control of the immune system is impaired, autoimmunity and tissue damage due to inflammation can result.
The investigators of the Autoimmunity and Inflammation Research Program at Hospital for Special Surgery study the basic mechanisms of immune system function and the role of altered immune system activation, regulation, and effector function in the pathogenesis of the systemic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
The prototype diseases studied include systemic lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and vasculitis. In addition, the inflammatory contributions to musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis, are investigated. Observations from basic research studies are applied to patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in translational research that aims to identify new therapeutic targets and to develop improved treatments for patients.