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Clinical Research

The Department of Medicine is dedicated to advancing healthcare through cutting-edge clinical research. Anchored in a commitment to excellence, innovation, and collaboration, our mission is to empower clinical investigators by providing comprehensive support and resources throughout the research lifecycle.

Empowering Excellence in Clinical Research

 Emerging Investigator Spotlight

Explore the transformative work of our early-career investigators, pioneers forging new pathways in patient care. This spotlight is a testament to our dedication to nurturing the next generation of research leaders.

  • Yvonne Lee vignette: I started working at NU in January 2018 after my Division Chief, Dr. Harris Perlman, recruited me from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. I was attracted to NU because of Dr. Perlman’s passion, energy, and vision for building the clinical-translational research infrastructure within the Division of Rheumatology.  It has been very exciting to be a part of this growth.
  • My research group’s mission is to understand pain mechanisms in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and their impact on the patient experience of pain. Our overall goal is to identify novel targets for safe and effective treatments for pain in patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. We have three active studies, which are recruiting participants. The first study strives to understand predictors of chronic pain in patients with RA. In previous studies, we have observed that there may be a “window of opportunity” within the first two years after RA symptom onset, during which we can prevent the development of chronic pain and disability. Through this study, we hope to find targets for intervention. For example, if we find that sleep fragmentation is a significant predictor of chronic pain, we would then look to identify novel strategies to address sleep fragmentation.

    The second and third study are more translational in nature and seek to generate insights into the relationship between circulating monocytes and the maintenance of chronic pain in patients with RA. In animal models of painful conditions, monocyte-derived macrophages and resident central nervous system microglia appear to work together to initiate hypersensitivity, raising the question of whether they may also promote hypersensitivity in humans, ultimately leading to the development of chronic pain. This avenue of research was made possible by coming to NU and collaborating with amazing translational investigators within the Division, such as Drs. Debbie Winter and Carla Cuda.


 Resources for Success

As part of our commitment to empowering researchers, we provide a wealth of resources, including access to the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS). Explore internal grant opportunities, delve into educational initiatives, and leverage these resources to propel your research endeavors.


 Clinical Research Strategy

At the forefront of our mission to impact the practice of medicine through discovery and education is the development of a Clinical Research Support Unit (CRSU). Designed to meet the evolving needs of our clinical investigators, the CRSU provides essential administrative support, freeing investigators to concentrate on groundbreaking research while we expertly handle regulatory compliance, financial management, and logistical coordination.

As pioneers in the establishment of this unit, our vision is clear: we aim to be recognized as leaders in shaping the future of clinical trials support services. Rooted in our foundational commitment to excellence, collaboration, and innovation, the CRSU aspires to become the preferred resource for investigators seeking a fresh, comprehensive, and streamlined approach to support their research endeavors

Ready to elevate your clinical research? Connect with our CRSU staff today!

Email the CSRU at to learn more about how we can support your clinical research endeavors.

Current Clinical Trials

Meet Our Team


Jyoti D Patel
Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)
Associate Vice-Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Medicine

Katie Clepp
Administrative Director, Clinical Research Support Unit

Jennifer B Felten
Associate Department Administrator