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Rheumatology Research

While our research interests include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, our main research focus are (1) clinical and translational research in pain; and (2) systemic lupus erythematosus.

 Chronic pain, defined as daily persistent pain for at least 6 month, costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity. Given the burden of chronic pain in human lives, dollars, and social consequences including personal sufferings, finding the causes and the best treatment approach to relieve pain should be a national priority.  At Wake Forest University (WFU) Section on Rheumatology, our priority is to better understand the mechanisms of chronic musculoskeletal pain and discover new treatment paradigm for this disabling condition. 

Specifically, we are focusing on the following research areas:

  • Determining how inflammation and the immune system contribute to the processing and experience of pain;
  • Testing new drugs to reduce pain transmission and experience;
  • Discovering blood markers to help in the early diagnosis and treatment of various musculoskeletal painful conditions; and
  • Combining different treatment strategies to optimize treatment outcomes. 

 Research Highlights

Association of nociceptive responsivity with clinical pain and the moderating effect of depression

Combining cognitive-behavioral therapy and milnacipran for fibromyalgia

Research to encourage exercise for fibromyalgia: use of motivational interviewing, outcomes from a randomized controlled trial

Effects of moderate to vigorous physical activity on long-term clinical outcomes and pain severity in fibromyalgia

For Potential Research Donor: To further advance our efforts to find cure for chronic pain we need donors who are passionate about our cause. You may contact Ed Crowder at (336-716-0077)

For Potential Research Participant: Please register in our Clinical Pain Registry at if you are interested to participate in a future clinical study in pain.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Basic research studies of the faculty include molecular mechanisms of cellular immune dysfunction, signal transduction in B cells, and the control of macrophage functions in inflammation.

Last Updated: 09-19-2016
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