Research in pediatric rheumatology is a fast-changing field, and pediatric rheumatology offers opportunities to participate in research studies of several types. As new medications are developed and tested in adults, they require further research before they can be given to children with similar diseases. Such pharmacologic trials or drug trials are one category of research done through pediatric rheumatology at IU School of Medicine.
Pediatric rheumatologists conduct post-market, observational research studies, known as registries, that monitor long-term outcomes of children taking approved medications over the course of several years. Data from these registries help to identify benefits and rare safety issues that are only seen years after a medication is begun. This information provides insight to optimal care of each individual patient. This pediatrics specialty area also studies various biomarkers (such as blood test results or other characteristics of a disease) that may help predict an individual child’s response to a medication.
Regardless of the study design, the protocols are often very specific and enroll only a narrow range of research volunteers such as children in a certain age group, those with an unusual variant of juvenile arthritis, or with a particular type of kidney involvement in lupus.
The pediatric rheumatology team works to ensure that no patient or family feels pressure to participate in research and follows the highest ethical standards throughout the consent process and throughout the research experience. Research participation is strictly voluntary, and every individual has the right to participate and to decline.
Studies in progress through the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at IU School of Medicine include a range of topic areas.