The primary goal for the Brown Lab research program is to generate a clinically validated evidence base for diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making that will improve immediate- and long-term outcomes for children that suffer from a rheumatic disease.

Researcher at computerFor all children with a rheumatic disease, ongoing management and treatment of disease (inflammation) constitutes the majority of patient visits to the rheumatologist. The effectiveness of that treatment determines short and long term quality of life and in turn, the associated burden on the health care system and society. Standardized and pediatric-validated definitions and clinical measures of disease activity (which are critical for informing treatment decisions) are currently lacking or imperfect.

Aim of Research Program

The aim of our research program is to improve current clinical scoring tools through a systems analysis of clinical data (that captures overt symptoms and organ function) with profiling of ‘first-responder’ immune cells that are sensitive reporters of immunological unrest. Approaches include but are not limited to:

  • Whole blood transcriptomics
  • Profiling of “first responder” innate immune cells (neutrophils, plateletsmonocytes)
  • Unbiased biomarker discovery in clinical samples collected at times of therapeutic decision making

Explore our Research Projects