Division Research

Division research areas include basic science, and clinical and therapeutic aspects of gout, scleroderma and fibromyalgia. Important contributions have been made in each of these areas.

  • Dr. Thomas has studied gene-targeted therapeutics, using antisense and triplex forming oligonucleotides.  In order to understand the mechanism of oligonucleotide transport through the cell membrane, he prepares DNA nanoparticles and conducts studies using laser light scattering, atomic force microscopy, and confocal microscopy.  Gene regulation is studied using microarray analysis and proteomics to understand  the mechanism of small molecule/oligonucleotide-mediated cell growth inhibition and apoptosis. Dr Thomas has NIH funding to study: Novel Oligonucleotide Gene Therapy  and the Role of Polyamines inEstrogen Function Breast Cancer.
  • Dr. Hsu oversees a comprehensive program for scleroderma patients, many of whom are enrolled in clinical trials of innovative therapies for the disease and its vascular complications.  Most of these are multicenter trials; eight trials were ongoing during this academic year, with support from industry and the NIH. Dr Hsu is the lead PI for:  “ A Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group, event- driven, Phase III study to assess the effects of ACT-064992 on morbidity and mortality in patients with symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension (SERAPHIN); “An Open-Label Trial to Evaluate the Safety of Dasatinib in the Treatment of Scleroderma  Pulmonary Interstitial Fibrosis” as well as “A Phase 3, Multi-center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Safety and Efficacy Study of Sitaxsentan Sodium in Subjects with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.” 
  • Dr. Schlesinger’s gout research includes clinical trials of innovative therapies for gout and the use of ultrasound in the diagnosis and treatment of gout. She is the international PI (together with Professor So, Switzerland) for Novartis trials of Canakinumab in gout.
  • Dr. Tiku is participating in several clinical multicenter clinical trials of new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.