Rheumatoid Arthritis Research Studies

The Division of Rheumatology strives to understand more about rheumatoid arthritis (RA) through research.  Please see the list below, which summarizes the studies available to individuals interested in advancing our understanding and treatment of rheumatic disease. 

Study Name/IRB#/PIBrief Description​Basic Eligibility​ CriteriaContact​

Bristol-Myers Squibb Research

IRB# 21-3663

PI- Christopher Striebich

Study to compare the response to treatment with subcutaneous Abatacept vs Adalimumab on background methotrexate in adults with early, seropositive rheumatoid arthritis who have "shared epitope" HLA Class II risk alleles and have an inadequate response to methotrexate

Basic Eligibility:

  • Participants have early RA, defined as symptoms of RA that started <12 months prior to screening and satisfied the ACR/EULAR 2010 criteria for the classification of RA at some point during the 12-month period. Participants who had a single isolated episode of palindromic symptoms that occurred less than 2 years prior to enrollment are still eligible.
  • Participants must be naïve to any targeted (biologic or nonbiologic) DMARDs.
  • Participants must be naïve to conventional synthetic DMARDs other than MTX.
  • Participants must be naïve to investigational therapies for RA.
  • Participants must have been treated with MTX for at least 12 weeks, with a stable dose of oral or parenteral MTX for at least 4 weeks prior to randomization. Participants must randomize on the maximum tolerated dose of oral or parenteral MTX (minimum of 15 mg and maximum of 25 mg per week). Participants may enroll with MTX doses < 15 mg/week but 7.5 mg/week if intolerance to higher doses has been documented and the dose of oral or parenteral MTX is stable for 4 weeks prior to randomization. .
Participants have an anti-CCP-2 test that is > 3× ULN and are positive for RF according to central lab testing during screening

Karen Franklin:




Chong Pedrick



or click here to give your information to the study team.

Interdisciplinary Joint Biology Program for Rheumatic and Orthopedic Diseases


Larry Moreland, MD

The goal of the University of Colorado Interdisciplinary Joint Biology Program is to employ cutting edge science and technology to advance the research of inflammatory, degenerative and musculoskeletal joint diseases.

Individuals with RA, SpA, PsA, AS, OA or any other form of inflammatory arthritis with active disease in their elbow, wrist, hand joints, knee, ankle or shoulder and are willing to undergo a synovial biopsy at that site


individuals who are having an orthopedic surgery and are willing to donate their tissues that would normally be discarded

Jennifer Seifert



Or visit https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/cuijbp

Platelet Function in RA


Pavel Davizon-Castillo, MD; PI

Kevin Deane, MD/PhD – Co-PI
A study to learn more about platelet function in people with RA pre Anti-TNF and post Anti-TNF.  Visit consists of consent and 2 additional tubes drawn during regular clinic visit.  No additional questionnaires collected.


  • Diagnosis of RA
  • Not currently taking an Anti-TNF, but getting ready to be put on one

Marie Feser





Kevin Deane, MD

A study designed to learn more about pain in early Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It’s a 1 year study with 3 visits (baseline, 3 months, 1 year).Individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis for less than 6 months may be eligible

Marie Feser



MINERAL; Microbiome and Neutrophil associated factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune-related Interstitial Lung Disease


Melissa Griffith, MD

An observational study to investigate the causes of chronic lung disease in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases1. At least 18 years old
2. Falls under one of the following criteria:
a. Diagnosis of scleroderma
b. Diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features (IPAF)
c. Diagnosis of RA with associated interstitial lung disease
d. Diagnosis of RA with previous lung abnormalities seen on lung scan

Kasey Bales



or click here to give your information to the study team.


Kevin Deane, MD
To learn about the immune system and microbiome in individuals at risk for developing RAIndividuals with a positive blood test (anti-CCP antibody) or their close relatives (parents, siblings, children)303-724-8330
Or email rastudies@cuanschutz.edu
Or visit website:  www.altraproject.org
Sputum Studies of Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibodies (ACPA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Origins [SPARO]
Kristen Demoruelle, MD, PhD
An observational study to investigate the lung as a potential site where rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is developed.At least 18 years old
Falls under one of the following criteria:
1) has a parent, sibling, or child who is diagnosed with RA
2) has a clinically confirmed RA diagnosis
3) no personal or family history of RA

Kasey Bales



or click here to give your information to the study team.

Female Influences on the Etiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis (FIERA) Study 
Kristen Demoruelle, MD, PhD
An observational study to identify the female genital tract as a potential mucosal site of initiation of autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Analysis on-going, but closed to recruitment 

Please note that study status changes frequently and therefore, a listed study may not be actively enrolling. Also, the complete list of inclusion and exclusion criteria for a given study is often not listed due to its length.  A visit to determine an individuals eligibility may be required.  A placebo is an inactive substance or treatment that looks the same as, and is given the same way as, an active drug or treatment being tested. The effects of the active drug or treatment are compared to the effects of the placebo.