Area 1

Systemic autoimmune diseases

Team leader

Strategic objectives

The Systemic Autoimmune Diseases research group promotes basic, clinical and translational research in these diseases in a multidisciplinary manner, with the participation of members of the following Departments: Autoimmune Diseases, Ophthalmology, Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Immunology, Hemostasis, Hepatology, Obstetrics and Dermatology, among others.

These activities are carried out in close collaboration with different international work groups, of which the team members are national and/or international coordinators: European Working Party on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (EWPSLE), European Forum on Antiphospholipid Antibodies (EFAPL), Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Syndrome (CAPS) Registry Project Group, International Pediatric Register of Antiphospholipid Syndrome (Ped-APS Register), Systemic Lupus International Collaborative Centers (SLICC), Sjögren’s Syndrome-Hepatitis C Virus (SS-HCV) Study Group, HISPAMEC Study Group, Systemic Autoimmune Disease Study Group – Use of Biological Therapies (BIOGEAS), Spanish Sjögren’s Syndrome Multicenter Study Group (GEMESS), European Vasculitis Study Group (EUVAS), European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Systemic Vasculitis Task Force, EULAR Standing Committee for International Clinical Studies Including Therapeutics, and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Work Group for Development of Classification Criteria for Rheumatic Polymyalgia, among others.

Main lines of research

1. Systemic lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid syndrome and systemic sclerosis:

  • Epidemiological multicenter studies on the clinical manifestations and long-term evolution of these diseases.
  • Clinical trials in new biological therapies.
  • Study of genetic polymorphisms as risk factors of the different clinical manifestations of these diseases.
  • Study of the cardiovascular and endothelial damage risk factors found in these diseases.
  • Basic research in animal models on the mechanism of action of antiphospholipid antibodies.

2. Sjögren’s syndrome, autoimmune manifestations of hepatitis C virus infection and biological therapies:

  • Epidemiological multicenter studies on the clinical manifestations and long-term evolution of these diseases.
  • Study of IgG4 disease associated with Sjögren’s syndrome.
  • Validation of ESSDAI and ESSPRI activity scores,
  • European Task Force for the characterization of Sjögren’s syndrome systemic manifestations (EULAR-SS Task Force).
  • Development of new international classification criteria for Sjögren’s syndrome (ACR-EULAR Task Force Group).
  • Study of the cardiovascular and endothelial damage risk factors found in this syndrome.
  • Clinical and basic studies in mixed cryoglobulinemia.
  • Development of new international classification criteria for mixed cryoglobulinemia.
  • International registry of treatments with biological drugs for systemic autoimmune disorders (BIOGEAS).

3. Systemic vasculitis:

  • Investigation of the mechanisms involved and the clinical consequences of the persistence of vascular inflammation in giant cell arteritis.
    Identification of new therapeutic targets.
  • Study of the mechanisms involved in the development of abnormal vascular remodelling (occlusion or dilatation) and its clinical consequences.
  • Development of an organ culture model for studying the factors implicated in the perpetuation of inflammation and in vascular remodelling.
  • Study of the prevalence of large vessel inflammatory involvement at the start and during the course of giant cell arteritis.
  • Genetic studies on giant cell arteritis.
  • Clinical trials promoted fundamentally for investigating new biological therapies in the management of systemic vasculitis.
  • Spanish systemic vasculitis registry.
  • Spanish Behçet’s disease registry.

Research Group

Systemic vasculitis

Maria Cinta Cid


This group studies the clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of systemic vasculitic disorders, as well as the mechanisms producing vascular damage in these diseases.

The scientific contribution of this line of research is very competitive and is internationally renowned. Clinical studies are also made of the systemic vascular lesions characterizing giant cell arteritis, exploring the mechanisms that produce these vascular lesions in this disease, and participating in different clinical trials involving new biological treatments. The group also coordinates the Spanish registries of vasculitis associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) and Behçet’s disease.