Finding a Cure – Basic and Translational Research

Research Activities

The Center includes 5 full-time faculty members and 5 research staff. We currently collaborate with faculty from 8 other Divisions/Departments within the School of Medicine and a number of investigators from other institutions.

Our major resources include large, longitudinal databanks, serum and DNA banks, and tissue specimens (autopsies, skin/lung biopsies and lung transplant tissues). We have registries for systemic sclerosis in twins, childhood onset systemic sclerosis, and localized scleroderma and Raynaud disease.

Faculty clinical interests include the epidemiology, clinical and serologic classification of disease, organ system involvement, natural history and survival of systemic sclerosis and localized forms of scleroderma. Areas of translational research include vascular stiffness and endothelial dysfunction in SSc, serum cytokines as markers of vascular and endothelial dysfunction, immune cell and fibroblast dysfunction, and genetic contributions to disease etiology. Other emphases include basic pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in fibrosis of the skin and lungs, animal models of fibrosis, lung fibroblast function in interstitial lung disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension, immunologic mechanisms in gastrointestinal hypomotility, cardiac disease in SSc, and abnormal T-cell function.

Over the past 40 years, we have published over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, and over 100 textbook chapters and other invited works on scleroderma and related diseases. We have trained 6 fellows who have gone on to develop scleroderma patient care and research programs at other institutions, nationally and internationally.

Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network (SPIN)

SPIN-SHARE: Supporting People Living with Scleroderma

The Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network (SPIN) is taking another step towards fulfilling its mission of supporting people living with scleroderma from around! SPIN is thrilled to announce the launch of the SPIN-SHARE platform, through which toolkits will be released publicly after being tested through the SPIN Cohort.

To have access to SPIN online toolkits, login or register at: SPIN Cohort users can login directly and public users will need to register first, in 4 easy steps.


SPIN-HAND: SPIN’s First Publicly Accessible Toolkit for Hand Function

The first publicly accessible SPIN toolkit, SPIN-HAND, is now available online through the new SPIN-SHARE platform. Once you login to the SPIN-SHARE platform, you will see the SPIN-HAND toolkit. The HAND program provides different levels of exercises to improve hand function with sections to help you develop a personalized program, set goals, and track your progress. Instructional videos demonstrate how to perform each exercise properly with pictures to illustrate common mistakes.


More toolkits will be made available in 2021! Click here to register now:


Contact Us

Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Offices

S700 Biomedical Science Tower
3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-383-8000  |  Email Us

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