Our Research

The goal of our research is to contribute to improved surveillance and management for people living with systemic lupus erythematosus. We focus on identification of biomarkers that reflect activity and portend flare, response or non-response to therapy, particularly B cell targeted biologics, and long-term outcome. We stress on patient-reported health status and patient participation in medical care.

Last but not least, we have projects within medical pedagogy, and we are currently working on the development of a novel virtual patient modality for enhancing the acquirement of clinical reasoning skills and for facilitating interprofessional learning.

Click here for a full publication list from our group on PubMed®.

About Lupus

Systemic lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that is characterised by a relapsing-remitting course. The prevalence of SLE varies in different populations, ranging from 0.04% to 0.2%. SLE predominantly affects women of childbearing age, with a female-to-male ratio generally estimated to be 9:1.

The pathogenesis and aetiology of SLE are multifactorial, and not fully understood. Genes, ethnicity, hormones and environmental factors have been implicated among underlying causes or precipitating factors. Dysfunction of the immune system is a hallmark of SLE. Both the innate and the adaptive immunity may be aberrant, and defective apoptotic cell clearance is hypothesised to be a central phenomenon underlying the initiation of the autoreactive responses in SLE. Type I interferon and hyperactivity of the B cell lineage play key roles in the pathogenesis of SLE, and the disease is characterised by a prominent production of autoantibodies to nuclear components and immune complex formation, with the latter accounting for the inflammation and subsequent damage at the level of tissue. The disorder is highly heterogeneous, not only in terms of molecular aberrancies, but also clinical manifestations. Multiple organs may be involved, including the skin, joints, kidneys, and central nervous system.

Research Projects

Per-protocol repeat kidney biopsy in incident cases of lupus nephritis (ReBioLup)

ReBioLup is an international prospective endeavour conducted within the frame of the Lupus Nephritis Trials Network. ReBioLup is endorsed by the European Lupus Society (SLEuro) and the European Renal Association (ERA). The main objective of this randomised trial is to evaluate whether therapeutic decisions steered by the results of a per-protocol repeat kidney biopsy contribute to an increased proportion of patients who attain complete renal response after two years of immunosuppressive therapy, and deceleration of renal function loss in the long run.  

More informationHow to enrol a patient in ReBioLup

Taxonomy, Treatment, Targets and Remission (3TR)

In a never-before-seen effort, taxonomy, treatment, targets and remission (3TR) sets out to fundamentally increase our knowledge of the molecular pathways and mechanisms linked to response and non-response to therapy in seven different immune-mediated, allergic, and inflammatory diseases. 3TR is the largest immunology project funded by the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) to date. 

More informationHow to enrol a patient in 3TR-SLEHow to enrol a healthy control in 3TR

Optimising surveillance and outcomes in SLE

The overall purpose of this project is to contribute to optimization of the use of current therapies in SLE, propose new therapies, increase awareness regarding non-pharmacological interventions such as smoking cessation, and develop tools for better surveillance of the disease and for prediction of disease course, response to therapies, and long-term outcome.

More information

Virtual patients presented through AI-embedded social robots: a novel approach for enhancing the acquirement of clinical reasoning skills

Within the frame of this project, we employ artificial intelligence and a social robotic platform to create a novel series of virtual patients. Those will be used to enhance clinical reasoning skills and facilitate interprofessional and communicative competences in learning.

More information

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