Pediatric rheumatic diseases, although genetically distinct from adult diseases, likely have common pathophysiological pathways. In addition, common themes have been defined between rheumatic disease and other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Therefore a multidisciplinary approach which integrates basic and clinical research remains our strategy.

The Core Center is structured to foster existing interactions and to encourage new ones between adult and pediatric rheumatology divisions and the broader immunology and bioinformatics communities with the ultimate goal of impacting the outcome for children with rheumatic illness. Immunology is a discipline whose insights and methods (and problems left outstanding) are central to the biomedical research enterprise. Normal functioning of the immune system is critical for normal development and homeostasis and avoidance of autoimmunity. Conversely, dysregulated immune responses are of central importance to the pathogenesis and expression of a wide spectrum of diseases including pediatric rheumatic diseases.

In order to address the issues of importance to pediatric rheumatology, studies supported by this center fall into one or more of five categories:

  • Studies in pediatric rheumatic diseases.
  • Studies in rheumatic diseases in general (includes adult).
  • Immunobiological studies judged to be of broad relevance to the pathophysiology of pediatric rheumatic disease.
  • Studies developing tools for translating research findings to rheumatological clinical practice.

Members of the center may receive discounts and priorities for many core resources and services. However, outside researchers are welcome and encouraged to use the services of the cores, as well. The cores include:

Enrichment Program

The Enrichment Program involves a novel pilot study program that was designed to encourage use of valuable sample collections housed in the Pediatric Rheumatology Tissue Repository and extends the reach of the Tissue Repository Core beyond the local Research Base to include the national pediatric rheumatology community.  Members of the local CRDCC Research Base, full Childhood Arthritis Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) members, post-doctoral fellows mentored by a CARRA member, or investigators collaborating with a CARRA member are eligible to apply for Pilot study funding.  Proposals must bring new projects/new investigators to the field of pediatric rheumatology and not merely represent an extension of ongoing work by an established investigator in pediatric rheumatology.  Individual projects are limited to $30,000 per year (total costs) for up to 2 years.  Applications will be solicited at least every 2 years. This program has been allocated $60,000 per year. Click here to learn more .

The enrichment program also supports annual education/training programs related to the cores, visiting pediatric rheumatologist’s seminars and visiting speakers focused on cutting edge topics related to Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology.

Program Leadership

The CRDCC is directed by Susan Thompson of the Division of Rheumatology. Drs. Edward Giannini and Jennifer Huggins serve as Co-directors.


Full membership is open to Cincinnati investigators with external (NIH) grant support and/or regular publications in peer reviewed journals. Associate membership is open to junior faculty who do not yet have independent funding. For information about joining the CRDCC, contact the director of the center, Dr. Susan Thompson.  CARRA members are eligible to apply for pilot study funding. 

You can also view the Center's current membership.

Cincinnati Rheumatic Diseases Core Center Contact Information

For additional information, please contact Dr. Susan Thompson, Division of Rheumatology, 513-636-3899.