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Leveraging the latest, cutting-edge research to develop new treatments that can reduce the impact of arthritis, autoimmune diseases and allergies.

Researcher conducting biomarker research in lab.

For more than 30 years, the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center has been at the forefront of conducting some of the most innovative basic science and clinical research in rheumatic, musculoskeletal and allergic diseases. 

This work includes basic studies:

  • Basic studies using cells, tissues, and animal models to investigate disease mechanisms
  • Population-based and clinical studies to uncover risk and predictive factors
  • Clinical trials to bring new discoveries to the clinic
  • Community based research to find the most promising ways to assist people with arthritis, autoimmune diseases and allergies 

The Center’s nationally renowned research scientists and clinicians regularly share the latest data and insights with colleagues across the UNC system, as well as with leading scientists throughout the world.

Core Center for Clinical Research (CCCR)

The CCCR, funded by the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), helps optimize design, analysis and interpretation of clinical research in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs).


  • Empowers leading experts to find new ways to help mitigate the public health impact of osteoarthritis and other RMDs, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and vasculitis.
  • Has launched clinical research projects, and initiated speaker series and webinars, including a collaborative speaker series with the other eight NIAMS-funded CCCRs.
  • Regularly conducts Advisory, Brainstorming, and Consultative (ABC) Sessions, allowing researchers to present to receive feedback and guidance on how to improve their grant applications, protocols, analysis, and manuscripts.

We invite you to learn more about the Administrative Core, Methodology Core, Phenotyping and Precision Medicine Resource Core and many offerings of the CCCR.

Ongoing Clinical Trials

We conduct innovative clinical trials and observational studies to further investigate causes and innovative treatments for arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and allergies.

We invite you to learn more about our clinical trials.

Thurston Arthritis Research Center’s Areas of Research Include: