Research

The Section of Rheumatology at Boston University has a rich and strong history in conducting high quality, world-renowned research.

The Arthritis & Autoimmune Diseases Research Center (AADRC) is an internationally recognized center in research, patient care and education, established in 1983 to advance basic, clinical, and epidemiological research in rheumatology and to translate laboratory findings into new therapeutic strategies. The AADRC has made substantial contributions to scleroderma research, with a focus on basic and translational sciences in scleroderma and lupus, and an expanded focus on fibrosis and other autoimmune diseases. A major program within the AADRC is the Scleroderma Program, which is an active member of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium (SCTC), an international group that conducts multicenter trials of therapies in scleroderma. The BU Scleroderma Clinical Program continues to be a major research site for scleroderma clinical trials.

The Clinical Research Program (previously known as the Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit), is internationally recognized for its advanced and novel methodology as applied to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Many faculty are national and international leaders in their respective research fields, including osteoarthritis, gout, scleroderma, spondyloarthritis, musculoskeletal ultrasound, biomechanics, physical therapy, musculoskeletal pain, and epidemiologic methods. Many have also led development of national treatment guidelines for various rheumatic diseases, outcome measures for rheumatoid arthritis trials and other rheumatic diseases, and classification criteria for several rheumatic diseases; and have introduced novel clinical research methodologies and study designs into the fields of rheumatology and physical therapy. Additional research foci include mobile health technologies, imaging (MRI and musculoskeletal ultrasound), nutrition and exercise, genetic epidemiology, causal inference methods, clinical trials methodology, meta-analyses, pharmacoepidemiology, machine learning, and conjoint analyses, among others.

Together, the AADRC and Clinical Research Program teams have been at the forefront of providing novel insights into pathophysiology of and risk factors for various rheumatic diseases, and developing new approaches to study and test novel treatments for scleroderma, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus and other autoimmune disorders.