The region’s first clinic providing personalized care for children with systemic lupus erythematosus has opened at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. The goal is to help young people better manage the psychosocial and physical challenges of lupus, which is most often diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. Led by Melissa Tesher, MD, the clinic’s circle of providers includes pediatric rheumatologists Cuoghi Edens, MD, and Linda Wagner-Weiner, MD, MS, as well as nephrologists, a nurse educator, child life specialists and a pharmacist.
Edens is board certified in both adult and pediatric rheumatology, and is actively involved in optimizing transition to adult care for children and young adults with rheumatological conditions. She also is also conducting research on the interplay between reproductive health, pregnancy and rheumatic diseases.
Wagner-Weiner is a leader in a national research group developing consensus treatment plans for ANCA-associated vasculitis in children. Currently, no universally accepted treatment plans are available for this rare but serious illness. In addition, Wagner-Weiner is a lead investigator on long-term clinical studies supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Arthritis Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America. She is examining responses to biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs in children and adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). She also has studied the use of HPV vaccine in adolescents with lupus and is currently evaluating the safety and efficacy of this vaccine in children with JIA.