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Caring for diverse patient populations, and a long track record of successfully managing clinical trials ranging from simple to complex.

Our Expertise, Focus, and Approach

slide close upThe UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center has over 25 years of experience in effectively recruiting for and conducting clinical trials. The highly experienced research team that leads clinical trials include both clinicians and coordinators who specialize in the areas of rheumatology, allergy and immunology.

Fully integrated within the UNC system, the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center’s outpatient clinics attract a large and diverse patient population. The Center is fully equipped to conduct clinical trials from Phase I-IV, and provides comprehensive management of clinical trial components such as study feasibility, quality assurance, regulatory reviews, training and education of study staff, recruitment, patient visits, and data collection. Its facilities have dedicated research rooms, full time research coordinators, nursing staff, and laboratory staff to collect and process samples.

The Center’s clinical experts have a passion for helping patients while advancing scientific knowledge in order to advance the search for new and improved therapeutic solutions. As a result, all participants receive excellent, attentive and compassionate care throughout the clinical trial process.

A research center uniquely qualified to offer important benefits for clinical trial sponsors:

  • The UNC Allergy & Immunology Clinic, and the UNC Rheumatology Clinic collectively manage over 20,000 clinical visits yearly. In addition, patients from all 100 North Carolina Counties and throughout the Southeast receive care at numerous UNC hospitals as well as UNC-affiliated clinics, which collectively receive several hundred thousand patient visits each year.
  • Very active referral base from local physicians, ensuring access to large numbers of patients with rare diseases.
  • An interdisciplinary approach facilitates recruitment for complex clinical trials that bridge multiple specialties (rheumatology & nephrology; immunology & dermatology, pulmonology, etc.)
  • Fully equipped clinical trial facilities, with highly trained and specialized teams for management of clinical trial processes.

trayCore Areas of Clinic and Research Expertise:

Allergy & Immunology Rheumatology
Allergic asthma Ankylosing spondylitis
Allergic rhinitis Gout and other crystal arthropathies
Alpha-gal meat allergy Inflammatory myopathies
Drug allergy Osteoarthritis and metabolic arthropathies
Food allergy Psoriatic arthritis
Hereditary angioedema Scleroderma
Immunodeficiency Sjogren’s syndrome
Stinging insect allergy Systemic lupus erythematosus
Urticaria and angioedema Vasculitis


Note: Click here for a list of resources and links with suggestions for helping increase diversity in clinical trials.

If you are a clinical trials professional and would like more information regarding working with the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, please contact Dr. Saira Sheikh. If you are a patient, please click here to learn more.