The lupus clinical research team at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recently welcomed lupus researchers and advocates from the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area to the Clinical Center for the inaugural meeting of the D.C. Lupus Consortium (DCLC). The purpose of the consortium is to foster collaborations between lupus researchers in the NIH Intramural Research Program and partners in the regional academic, private practice and patient advocacy communities.
Attendees learned about NIAMS lupus protocols from the institute’s scientific director Dr. John O’Shea, clinical director Dr. Richard Siegel, senior investigator Dr. Mariana Kaplan and Dr. Sarfaraz Hasni, a staff clinician and director of the lupus clinical research program. They described the recent revitalization of lupus-related basic and clinical research at NIH and the expansion of interventional clinical trials in this area.
Other speakers included Tricia Coffey of the CC, who provided an overview of the patient and referring physician electronic portals, and Dr. Christopher Collins, a D.C.-based rheumatologist and former NIAMS clinical fellow. He led a discussion on local community-based lupus trials.
The DCLC will provide a platform for resource sharing, information exchange and patient referrals for clinical trials. The consortium will meet regularly with the hope of fostering an integrated clinical trials network that will benefit the region’s lupus researchers and patients. Those interested in participating should contact Hasni directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.