Explore this Research Unit


The Rheumatology Clinical Research Unit (RCRU) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is directed by John Stone, MD, MPH.  The RCRU is located on the second floor of the Yawkey Building within Rheumatology Associates, consistent with the philosophy that clinical research needs to be brought to patients.  The RCRU is staffed by clinical investigators whose interests range broadly and include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic vasculitis, gout, Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjögren’s syndrome, osteoarthritis, IgG4-related systemic disease, and metabolic bone disease (Paget’s disease, osteoporosis).  The RCRU has a close relationship with the Mass General Clinical Research Center, which provides study coordinators, biostatistical analysis, trial design consultation, and data management services.    

The major focus of the RCRU is "translational research", i.e., the type of investigation that applies breakthroughs in the laboratory directly to medical diseases in human patients.  Recent examples of the types of work at the MGH include:
  • Leadership on a multicenter, randomized, double-blind clinical trial of rituximab in ANCA-associated vasculitis;
  • An investigation of genes associated with B cell activation in RA and SLE;
  • A study of novel autoantigens in early RA;
  • The first prospective clinical trial in IgG4-related systemic disease;
  • Novel therapeutic approaches to SLE (e.g., interference with the disease’s interferon signature)
The RCRU has developed productive collaborations with the Center for Inflammatory and Immunological Diseases (CIID), ensuring that state-of-the-art scientific techniques are brought from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside for the purposes of more efficient diagnosis and more effective therapies. 
Studies currently recruiting:
  • RA
  • IgG4-RSD
  • Osteoarthritis
  • SLE
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Paget’s disease