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Basic/Translational Research Program and Scleroderma Center of Research Translation

Click here for the Boston University Scleroderma Center of Research Translation

Scleroderma (also known as systemic sclerosis) is a chronic multisystem disease characterized by fibrosis and microvascular injury that affects the skin and internal organs. Despite significant progress in understanding the mechanism of fibrosis in scleroderma, many unanswered questions remain due to the complex nature of this disease that involves genetic factors, autoimmunity/inflammation, and a widespread vasculopathy. Research teams led by Maria Trojanowska and Robert Lafyatis with combined expertise in vascular, immune, and connective tissue biology employ state-of-the-art techniques and unique mouse models to begin answering these questions. Specifically, researchers in the Scleroderma Program investigate how the interaction between vascular injury, and immune-mediated inflammation lead to skin and internal organ fibrosis.

Research in Trojanowska laboratory centers on the molecular and biochemical pathways that regulate extracellular matrix synthesis in healthy tissues and become dysregulated in scleroderma. The second area of interest involves studies on the endothelial cell dysfunction and its role in microvascular disease and pulmonary hypertension in scleroderma.

The Lafyatis laboratory has a particular interest in understanding the mechanisms stimulating the immune response in the disease, focusing on innate immune responses leading to fibrosis and vascular injury.

Scleroderma Program Faculty

Alessandra Farina

Robert Lafyatis

Maria Trojanowska

Robert Simms

Michael York

Eugene Kissin

Peter Merkel

Harrison Farber

Arthur Theodore

Contributing to Research at the Boston University Scleroderma Program