Ewa Cairns

Professor (Western University)

Associate Scientist (Lawson Health Research Institute)

Postdoc:  Toronto Western Hospital, Canada

PhD:  Western University, Canada

MSc:  Warsaw, Poland



Office:  Siebens Drake Research Institute, Room 220B

Phone: 519.661.3443

Email:  ewa.cairns@schulich.uwo.ca 

Lab Website:  Cairns Lab Website

Area of Study:

Our laboratory is interested in rheumatic autoimmune diseases

Fields of Interest:

-Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research Profile

Our current research focuses on the pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). We are studying the role of MHC class II molecules as well as autoantigens containing citrulline or homocitrulline in the development of this disease. Our research is performed using human RA clinical specimens and humanized (MHC class II) transgenic mice as animal model for RA.

Publication Profile

Selected publications:

Hill JA, Sette A, Jevnikar AM, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. The conversion of arginine to citrulline allows for high affinity peptide interaction with the rheumatoid arthritis associated HLA-DRB1*0401 MHC class II molecules. J Immunol. (Cutting Edge), 171:538-541, 2003.

Hill J, CAIRNS E, Bell DA. The Joy of Citrulline: New insights into the diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. J. Rheumatol. 31:1471-1473, 2004.

Hill JA, Bell DA, Brintnell W, Yue D, Wehrli B, Jevnikar AM, Lee DA, Hueber W, Robinson WH, CAIRNS E. Arthritis induced by post-translationally modified (citrullinated) fibrinogen in DR4-IE transgenic mice. J Exp Med. 205:967-79, 2008.

Chau TA, McCully ML, Brintnell W, An G, Kasper KJ, Haeryfar MSM, McCormick JK, CAIRNS E, Heinrichs DE, Madrenas J. Toll-like receptor 2 ligands on the staphylococcal cell wall downregulate superantigen-induced T cell activation and prevent toxic shock syndrome. Nature Med. 15:641-648, 2009.

Ercan A, Cui J, Chatterton DEW, Deane KD, Hazen MM, Brintnell W, O’Donnell, Derber L, Weinblatt M, Shadick NA, Bell DA, CAIRNS E, Solomon DH, Holers VM, Rudd PM, Lee DM. Aberrant IgG galactosylation precedes disease onset, correlates with disease activity and is prevalent in autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis & Rheum. 62:2239-48, 2010.

Yue D, Brintnell W, Mannik LA, Christie DA, Haeryfar SMM, Madrenas J, Chakrabarti S, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. CTLA4-Ig blocks the development and progression of citrullinated fibrinogen-induced arthritis in DR4 tg mice. Arthritis & Rheum. 62:2941-52, 2010.

Kinloch AJ, Alzabin S, Brintnell W, Wilson E, Barra L, Wegner N, Bell DA, CAIRNS E, Venables PJ. Immunisation with Porphyromonas gingivalis enolase induces autoimmunity to mammalian a-enolase and arthritis in DR4-IE transgenic mice. Arthritis & Rheum. 63:3818-23, 2011.

Scinocca M, Bell DA, Racapé M, Joseph R, Shaw G, McCormick J, Gladman DD, Pope J, Barra L, CAIRNS E. Anti-homocitrullinated fibrinogen antibodies are specific to rheumatoid arthritis and bind citrullinated proteins/peptides. J Rheumatol. 41: 270-279, 2014.

Barra L, Summers K, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. Serum cytokine profile of unaffected first degree relatives of rheumatoid arthritis patients. J Rheumatol. 41:280-285, 2014.

Lac P, Saunders S, Tutunea-Fatan E, Barra L, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. Immune responses to peptides containing homocitrulline or citrulline in the DR4-transgenic mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis. J Autoimmun. 2017 Dec 11. pii: S0896-8411(17)30581-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2017.12.002. [Epub ahead of print].

Lac P, Racapé M, Barra L, Bell DA, CAIRNS E. Relatedness of antibodies to peptides containing homocitrulline or citrulline in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 45:302-309, 2018.