For children with a rheumatic disease, ongoing management and treatment of their disease constitutes the majority of patient visits to the rheumatologist. The effectiveness of such treatment determines short and long term quality of life. At present, the core pathophysiology of many rheumatic diseases is not understood, thus, available treatments indirectly address patients’ pain and inflammation and either cause general immune system suppression, have limited or transient efficacy and/or are very expensive. In addition, standardized and pediatric-validated measures of disease activity - which are critical for informing treatment decisions - are currently lacking or are imperfect.

Research Goals

The overall goal of our research program is to improve outcomes for children through the delivery of evidence-based, personalized care. Towards this, we aim to find quantifiable markers that give insight into the underlying disease mechanisms and help with a diagnosis and treatment. 

We use a bedside-to-bench approach, with initial ‘discovery’ studies done on patient samples and follow-up mechanistic studies employing in vitro and in vivo experimental systems to tease the markers of inflammation apart from the drivers. We have a particular interest in two groups of rheumatic diseases: primary chronic systemic vasculitis and autoinflammatory syndromes.

We are grateful for past and present research project funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, National Institutes of Health, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Rare Disease Foundation, BC Lung Foundation, and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Research Projects

Chronic Primary Vasculitis

Autoinflammatory Diseases

DADA2 and ADA2 Biology

Neutrophils in Inflammation

Research Grade Testing

We offer research-grade tests for adenosine deaminase 2 activity and Type I Interferon activation that can inform treatment decisions for adult and pediatric patients. Contact us for information about sample collection and testing.