Our lab studies markers and mechanisms of inflammation for improved therapeutic management of rheumatic diseases in children.

In Canada, rheumatic conditions are the most common chronic illness of childhood, affecting as many as 20,000 of our children and youth.

Rheumatic Diseases

Examples of rheumatic diseases are juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, vasculitis and auto-inflammatory conditions.

While the diseases are different, all affected kids have life-long cycles of remission and extreme inflammation in joints, muscles and critical organs. Some diseases are life- or organ-threatening and all will often lead to lifelong poor health and disability. There are no cures and remarkably few treatments that are specific and safe for a growing child.

Although diseases that kill attract much of the public’s attention, musculoskeletal or rheumatic diseases are the major cause of morbidity throughout the world, having a substantial influence on health and quality of life, and inflicting an enormous burden on health systems.

World Health Organization (2003)

Our Research

Finding better ways to monitor changes in inflammation in the body...

Key principles of autoinflammatory pathomechanisms

Our research program is designed to find better ways to monitor changes in inflammation in the body so clinicians can modulate each child’s treatment over time.

This way, children get safer, more effective disease control and better lifelong health.

About Dr. Kelly Brown

Dr. Kelly Brown with child in arms

Dr. Kelly Brown is a research scientist with a longstanding interest in inflammatory conditions and in particular, those that develop in childhood.

In 2014 she joined the University of British Columbia Division of Rheumatology within the Department of Pediatrics and established her laboratory in the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHRI) on the campus of the BC Children’s Hospital. As the Division’s first full-time basic scientist, Dr. Brown is a key player in creating the best evidence-based care for children and youth in BC that are affected by rheumatic diseases. Her basic and translational research program in pediatric rheumatology addresses questions derived from clinical problems and considers what matters most to clinicians and patients.