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Current Studies


The Lupus Intervention Fatigue Trial (LIFT) aims to help people with lupus better manage their fatigue and improve their quality of life by testing two treatment programs. One treatment program will test if motivational interviewing, a counseling style, will result in changes in diet and physical activity therefore affecting fatigue in patients with lupus. The other treatment program will test a patient education program directed towards better understanding of what lupus is.

 Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Lupus

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) obtained from umbilical cords for the treatment of adults with active SLE. The MSCs used in this trial are cells that are obtained from the umbilical cords of healthy donors having an elective Caesarean section and who have been screened to be sure that they are free of any infectious diseases. These investigational cells will be collected and processed so that they can be used as an infusion treatment. The goal of this study is to determine if patients receiving an MSC infusion in addition to standard of care for SLE respond better than patients receiving placebo infusion.

 REACH Project

The lupus research group participated in an initiative, REACH LUPUS, “Roadmap for Education and Access Care for Chicago Hispanic LUPUS”, funded by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to reduce health disparities in a Hispanic-Mexican community in Chicago’s Pilsen community. Our aim is to increase and improve lupus awareness among individuals where there is little knowledge of this condition because of historical self-reported lupus health disparities by this community. To address the project aim a partnership was developed by Northwestern University engaging trusted providers in the targeted community, which included Salud Latina/Latino Health and Casa Michoacan, all with different roles but committed to engage key voices in the community to resolve this disparities gap with a culturally and linguistically competent approach. The project design is multifaceted and includes work provided to the community via support group services and to primary providers by engaging in outreach and education.  


NUgene is a clinical research project currently being conducted at NMH and NMFF.  The goal of this project is to collect and store genetic samples (DNA) along with associated healthcare information to form a gene bank.  This large bank of samples, currently at 9,600 and growing, is available to researchers who are working to identify genetic contributions to human disease.  This allows the researchers to more easily obtain many samples at one time, facilitating genetic research so it can more quickly impact healthcare in the future.  All samples and information are de-identified before distribution for research. 

Participants in this study have the opportunity to provide Dr. Ramsey-Goldman with access to the information collected from participants through NUgene for research purposes.  This will allow her to do additional research in the future on the role that genes play in lupus.

 GENETICS and Lupus

Through a partnership with the University of Alabama and lupus centers around the world, we are currently engaged in research to examine genetic and environmental risk factors for organ damage in people with lupus.  We are now recruiting Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic men and women at least 19 years of age for this study.  Study participation involves three annual visits that include a blood draw, urinalysis, and physical exam.


SABLE is a research study examining disease activity in patients with SLE who are treated with or without BENLYSTA. Participation will consist of a total of 11 visits, scheduled six months apart, during which time a physical exam and a few short questionnaires are completed.

 SLICC Registry (currently not recruiting)

The purpose of this study is to develop a registry or database of information on a large number of newly diagnosed SLE patients who are followed by the 30 SLICC members over time.  This registry will provide the long term follow-up of a large diverse population of patients using standard methodologies.  This will allow researchers to determine the prevalence and nature of early atherosclerotic coronary artery disease in SLE and to identify associated risk factors.

 SOLVABLE: Heart and Bone Study (Currently not recruiting)

The purpose of this study is to find out the effects of lupus on blood vessels and on long-term bone conditions.  Participants are women with lupus (cases) and women without lupus (controls) who complete three study visits over a five-year period.  Study visits include a carotid ultrasound, bone density test, x-ray of the heart, physical exam (cases), urinalysis, and blood testing (including glucose and cholesterol screening).