Veronika Groh-Spies, MD

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

2008 General Immune System Function, Human Lupus Biology

Veronika Groh-Spies, MD
Photo: Dean Forbes

Dr. Groh-Spies and colleagues have tantalizing preliminary data to indicate that a novel subset of cells that regulate the immune system—a population that functionally resembles regulatory T cells—may be notably deficient in active lupus.

Originally uncovered in cancer patients, this population of T cells will now be analyzed in a large group of children with lupus. Among other factors, Dr. Groh-Spies and colleagues will look at the relevance of changes in the number and function of these cells in active versus inactive disease.

This highly innovative research in human lupus biology—meaning it uses human tissue to break through to discoveries directly relevant to humans—has solid potential to advance the field of pediatric lupus biology and possibly point to new immune-modulating therapies.