The Research

As the leading research team in lupus, Dr. Dooley and the team are active in numerous clinical trial and database registries.

Research includes:

  • Longitudinal studies of the outcomes of lupus nephritis
  • The impact of cyclophosphamide therapy on reproductive function in patients with lupus (Nathan Meier)
  • NIH sponsored trials: ITN
  • Collaboration with Pediatric Nephrology (Keisha Gibson, M.D.)  The RituxiLup study which will include patients beginning at age 12-40. The trial is testing a regimen that avoids the use of cyclophosphamide and daily steroids. Patients must have a recent renal biopsy and receive initial therapy with pulse methylprednisolone. All patients receive mycophenylate mofetil (Cellcept) therapy. Patients will be  randomized to receive either 2 doses of  rituximab or placebo.

Click here for more information about clinical trials at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center.

The team also participates in three database registries:


The Lupus Clinical Trials Consortium (LCTC)

The Lupus Clinical Trials Consortium is a charitable tax-exempt organization, founded in 2002 to support the process of getting promising new therapies for lupus tested and into the marketplace.

The LCTC has over 20 academic institutions which receive infrastructure support grants to support readiness for testing new lupus therapies.


The Systemic Lupus International Collaborative

The Systemic Lupus International Collaborative Clinics (SLICC ) was originally formed in October 1991 to develop the SLICC/ACR damage index.

The group developed a strategy to establish a prospective cohort of newly diagnosed patients with lupus, collecting clinical information, serum and plasma on an annual basis and DNA at enrolment; to look in great detail at the challenging issue of patients with lupus.  The organization also engages in many different types of educational activities aimed at demonstrating the need for lupus clinical research and highlighting issues that are unique to lupus clinical research.


Glomerular Disease Collaborating Network

The Glomerular Disease Collaborative Network (GDCN) was established in 1985 as a means of enhancing communication and research efforts between community nephrology offices and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  The purpose of the GDCN is to learn more about causes and pathogenesis of glomerular diseases, such as lupus nephritis, as well as to find the most effective treatments for patients with these diseases.

The foundation of the GDCN is the ongoing enrollment and follow-up of patients in sixteen specific glomerular disease registries. The goal of the patient registries is to identify patients at the onset of their disease and to follow the course of their disease throughout their life.

The GDCN is continually enrolling patients in all registries, but currently the studies that are most actively recruiting include diagnoses of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, membranous glomerulopathy, lupus nephritis and ANCA-associated vasculitis.