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The University of Arizona Arthritis Center conducts research on rheumatologic diseases that encompass a group of autoimmune diseases which result from an overactive immune response against substances and tissues normally present in the body. Examples of rheumatologic diseases are rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The UAAC also conducts research on other joint related conditions, such as osteoarthritis, including studies that range from the molecular level to those that focus on developing new therapies and methods.  Examples of Center’s research include:


Adelman, Ph.D. (SLE, autoimmune disease)

Dr. Miranda Adelman is passionate about dissecting the pathways leading to autoimmune disease.  Her research is based on her own groundbreaking work about the role human endogenous retroviruses play in autoimmunity.  For more information about her research and opportunities in her lab, click on the link above, or contact her here.


Imaging in arthritis

Mihra Taljanovic, MD, studies the utilization of novel imaging techniques in arthritis. 


Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials

We are currently conducting a number of different industry-sponsored clinical trials.  Please visit the Clinical Research Unit for more information about specific studies and how to enroll.

Investigator-initiated studies (IIS)

Pharmaceutical companies often have a portion of their budget set aside for "investigator-initiated studies" (IIS), which are clinical, translational, or basic research studies designed and spearheaded by the investigator and not the company.  Click on the link above for more information about our IIS studies.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Sujata Sarkar, MD, is focused on understanding the regulation of inflammatory immune responses in animal models of arthritis as well as in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Joyce Wu, PhD is engaged in research elucidating how microbial flora of the gut decisively impacts the immune events leading up to arthritis in the animal model of inflammatory arthritis. 


Szivek, Ph.D. (Orthopaedic Research)

Dr. John Szivek leads a diverse team with research foci in orthopedic bioengineering topics, including analysis of the weight bearing loads on joints during exercise and the development of innovative tools to regenerate and remodel bone and cartilage.  For more information about his research and opportunities in his lab, click on the link above.