Dr. Urowitz has fostered international collaboration throughout his research. He gathered 22 investigators, experts in lupus and methodologists for the Committee on Prognosis Studies in SLE in 1985. Through the work of this committee the disease activity index and damage index were derived. This led to the collaboration through the NATO group, which resulted in several studies comparing activity instruments in SLE, and subsequently culminated in the establishment of SLICC. To further enhance the studies into the causes and outcomes of premature atherosclerosis in SLE Dr. Urowitz initiated the SLICC Registry for Atherosclerosis, which is an inception cohort of patients with SLE followed prospectively in 26 centers internationally according to a common protocol. This cohort provides the opportunity not only to determine incidence, prevalence, and nature of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease in SLE, but also to identify associated risk factors for the development of CAD and its outcomes and to discern the contribution of disease and therapy to the occurrence of these risk factors, as well as develop interventional approaches to modify identified risk factors.

Dr. Urowitz has been recognized as a major contributor to lupus research and has been invited to speak about his research internationally.

In addition to his research activities and extensive publication record, Dr. Urowitz has trained and mentored at least 80 rheumatology trainees and scores of medical and science students, many involved in lupus studies and who later proceeded to train in rheumatology. Dr. Urowitz has been recognized for his teaching excellence by a number of teaching awards at the University of Toronto and by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Most of the Lupus Clinic trainees are still involved in lupus care and research around the world.

Dr. Murray Urowitz is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Senior staff rheumatologist at the Toronto Western Hospital and Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute and Schroeder Arthritis Institute.

Dr. Urowitz’s contributions to research have been in the areas of prognosis studies and therapeutic trials in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In order to introduce scientific rigor and systematic analyses to the study of SLE, a complex multi-system, chronic disease, Dr. Urowitz established a cohort of SLE patients in 1970 who have been followed prospectively, examined by clinical and immunological measures according to a rigorous, predetermined protocol at defined intervals. This study has thus been longitudinal, prospective and long-term, and currently is one of the largest such databanks in the world (2100 patients) and has enabled numerous findings which have changed the way lupus is diagnosed and managed.

Dr. Urowitz also directs the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) Registry for Atherosclerosis in SLE which involves 30 centres from 14 countries and has followed over 1800 patients for up to 20 years.

Related Links

For a list of Dr. Urowitz's publications, please visit PubMed or Scopus.


Clinical Director, Centre for Prognosis Studies in the Rheumatic Diseases, UHN
Professor, Department of Rheumatology, University of Toronto