Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's Division of Rheumatology has faculty members involved in all phases of the cycle of medical research; from the lab bench to the bedside and back. Medical research begins in a laboratory, with studies that are concerned with the fundamental biologic functions of the body's tissues and the ways in which those functions are disrupted in disease. The knowledge generated in the laboratory is then validated in the real world, putting it to practical use and pointing the way towards actual changes in patient care. Finally, analysis of the outcomes of current and new therapies allow us to identify areas where interventions are working or not working, and is the way by which new medicines and other new treatments come into widespread use in actual medical practice.
The Division of Rheumatology receives funding from numerous federally-sponsored grants, including a T-32 training grant and the P60 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center. We also participate in clinical trials, which give our patients the opportunity to be among the first to receive new medications or other new forms of treatment.
We occupies about 4,000 square feet of lab space at Northwestern University, constructed in 2004. It includes cell incubators, laminar flow hoods, phase contrast and inverted fluorescent microscopes, a new state-of-the-art computer-assisted real-time RT-PCR apparatus acquired in late 2007, PCR thermal cyclers, and microplate readers.
Division of Rheumatology researchers have access to all shared equipment and resources in the division and its collaborating divisions and departments. These core facilities include:
The Cell Imaging Facility, which provides three laser scanning confocal microscopes and two transmission electron microscopes, as well as support for microinjection and live-cell imaging
The Biotechnology Laboratory, which provides automated DNA isolation and sequencing, microarray hybridization and analysis, and protein identification
The siRNA Library Core, which provides researchers with the latest in whole-genome RNAi collections
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, which contains multiple core laboratories including a Flow Cytometry Core that includes new instruments with multi-laser and high-speed sorting capabilities, an Immunoassay Development Core, a Histopathology Core, a Monoclonal Antibody Development Core, and a Biostatistics Core
All of the division’s resources are co-located on the same floor of a single building on the campus, and the resources of our collaborating divisions and departments are all accessible in adjacent buildings via interconnecting enclosed walkways.
Learn more about our faculty's research via the links below.
Research Centers and Programs
Learn more about faculty research in Rheumatology via the following program and center websites.
- Lupus Program at Northwestern University (Systemic lupus erythematosus)
Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, MD, DrPh, Program Director
- Scleroderma Program
John Varga, MD, Program Director
- Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center
Leena Sharma, MD, Center Director
- Stehlik Laboratory
Christian Stehlik, PhD, PI
Learn more about the lab work within our division.
We study the biology of macrophages in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These studies are directed at defining the mechanisms that promote resistance to apoptosis or programmed cell death and the role of endogenous Toll Like Receptor (TLR) ligands in the pathogensis of RA.
We have patented a novel peptide-based tolerance therapy targeted specifically against autoimmune cells that could spare lupus patients from receiving mutagenic cytotoxic agents, corticosteroids, and global immunosuppressants to treat their disease.
We study the factors that control the survival, activation and function of dendritic cell and macrophage subsets in the context of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and systemic sclerosis (SSc).