Stephen H. Clarke, PhD

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

2010 Human Lupus Biology
2011 B Cells

Dr. Stephen ClarkeWith LRI funding, Dr. Clarke and clinician collaborator Barbara Vilen, PhD, will explore a novel idea that might finally explain why relapses occur in some people with lupus and not in others. Armed with this understanding, doctors would be able to identify which patients really need to take powerful “maintenance” immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisone.

Working in human tissue, Clarke will test his hypothesis that during lupus relapse, a group of B cells unique to people with the disease turns on the production of antibodies targeted at otherwise healthy organs—causing disease activity to rise. He’ll also test how impaired control of this B cell subset might lead to autoimmunity in otherwise healthy people.

Rev. March 2011