Basic/Translational Research Program and Scleroderma Center of Research
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 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 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.
Scleroderma Program Faculty