Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

CALM: Assessing Cardiovascular Risk among Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Principal Investigator:  Elena M Massarotti, MD  and Karen H. Costenbader, MD, MPH   

Study Contact: Cameron Speyer (617-264-5907;

Study Summary: This is an observational research study examining cardiovascular risk factors over 6-8 months among patients who have been diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. Participants will complete survey questionnaires, provide blood samples and have heart imaging over the course of up to 5 study visits.

Patient Criteria: Participants must have active lupus disease at time of consent and must not have any known cardiac disease affecting physical activity or have any heart-related symptoms present even at rest.

Visit Summary: Study visits will occur in the BWH Lupus Center and the BWH Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, at the BWH Main Campus.

Patient Remuneration: Participants will receive up to $200 for study participation and costs of transportation or parking will be covered.


Physical and Mental Health and Medication Use among Patients with Lupus

Principal Investigator: Candace Feldman, MD, MPH

Study Contact: Courtnie Phillip (617-732-6356;

Funding Agency: Rheumatology Research Foundation

Study Summary: We are conducting a research study to understand changes in mental and physical health and medication use among patients with lupus over 6-8 months.

Patient Criteria: We are looking for participants who have been diagnosed with lupus and are currently taking a lupus medication.

Visit Summary: Participants will complete a total of 3 sets of surveys either online or at the time of your rheumatology appointment.

Patient Remuneration: Participants will receive either a parking or cafeteria voucher for each completed set of surveys.


SYLVER: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Very Early Research

Principal Investigator: Karen H. Costenbader, MD, MPH

Study Contact: Cameron Speyer (617-264-5907;

Funding Agency: Merck Sharp & Dohme

Study Summary: We are conducting a longitudinal study of 24 months and are recruiting participants who are newly diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. Participants will be asked to complete survey questionnaires and provide blood samples over the course of five visits. 

Patient Criteria: Participants must meet American College of Rheumatology criteria for SLE and be diagnosed within the last 12 months.

Visit Summary: Five study visits will occur at BWH Lupus Center (inside the Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center- BWH Main Campus,) Faulkner Hospital or at the Rheumatology clinic at 850 Boylston Street.

Patient Remuneration: Participants may be remunerated up $250 for all 5 study visits and parking or transportation vouchers will be provided.


ACE (Closed to Enrollment)

Principal Investigator: Elena M Massarotti, MD

Study Contact: Jung Lee (617-525-7654;

Funding Agency: Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Study Summary: We are doing this research study to find out if patients who have bene on Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF) for 1 to 2 years and whose Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE, lupus) is quiet can safely stop their MMF medication. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups

  1. MMF continuation group will continue MMF at a set dose.
  2. MMF withdrawal group will be slowly tapered off their MMF over 3 months.

Patient Criteria: Adults who have been diagnosed with lupus but is not active. Participants must be taking MMF and have been taking MMF for 1-2 years.

Visit Summary: We will ask you to make 12 study visits over 60 weeks. The visits will consist of a physical exam, questionnaires, and blood and urine sample collection. The study drug (MMF) will be supplied to you during this study.

Patient Remuneration: Participants will receive payment in the form of a parking voucher to cover parking costs for each study visit.