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Ramos Research Lab

Paula Ramos, Ph.D.Paula Ramos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Division of Rheumatology & Immunology

The goal of Dr. Ramos’ research is to identify the elements of the human genome that confer increased risk of autoimmune disease, including those that might explain their ethnic disparities. This knowledge can inform the design of therapeutic and preventative strategies for improved disease management.

Autoimmune diseases are a family of complex heterogeneous disorders with similar underlying mechanisms characterized by immune responses against self. Collectively, autoimmune diseases are common, exhibit gender and ethnic disparities, and increasing incidence. Human genetic variation influences disease risk and contributes to health disparities. Understanding human genetic variation can help elucidate the genetic causes of human disease and of health disparities, which has direct implications for personalized medicine approaches.

In order to understand how human genetic variation contributes to autoimmunity, her research team uses population and statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, and bioinformatics tools to understand the genetics and genomics of complex autoimmune diseases, with a focus on systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) and systemic sclerosis (scleroderma).

Dr. Ramos has made significant contributions to several key studies aimed at identifying genetic risk factors for lupus, lupus nephritis, neonatal lupus, or juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Current projects include multiple epigenomic studies in lupus and systemic sclerosis, most focused on African Americans; population genetics studies of Gullah African Americans; and a systems-level project aimed at identifying functional lupus risk variants based on integrated bioinformatic annotation of risk variants and concomitant evidence for natural selection.


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