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Research Group PD Dr. A. Kleyer and PD Dr. D. Simon

Digital Rheumatology and experimental Imaging

Head: PD Dr. med. Arnd Kleyer / PD Dr. med. David Simon

Clinical research: Focus on patients

In order to investigate the development of rheumatic diseases, our research group focuses in particular on the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Our focus is on understanding the impact of the diseases on patients' physical and mental health, identifying factors that predict disease progression, and exploring individualized therapeutic approaches.  

This is done with the use of the latest imaging modalities (high-resolution CT, optoacoustic ultrasound, MRI) of tissues and bones, the application of the latest laboratory tests, digital applications, the careful management of patient cohorts with intensive personalized patient care, among others. The analysis of the acquired data is performed with advanced methods, including Artificial Intelligence e.g. via neural networks.

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also succeeded, as one of the first research groups in Germany, in gaining important insights into the prevalence of COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic diseases, as well as the influence of rheumatic diseases and immunomodulating drugs on COVID infection and COVID vaccination.
We thank all our patients for their trust and commitment. Without you, gaining important scientific knowledge would not be possible!

Student teaching

Another important component of our research group is our commitment to student teaching. Within the framework of internships and courses, we apply innovative concepts of further education and training in order to make the subject of rheumatology comprehensible to students in the clinical and pre-clinical semesters. For this purpose, virtual reality elements and digital teaching content are used, for example, which are continuously developed and evaluated.


  • Deutsches Zentrum Immuntherapie
  • Chair of Pattern Recognition (FAU)
  • Radiologisches Institute of Radiology (Prof. Nagel/Prof. Römer)

Selected publications of PD Dr. med. Arnd Kleyer and PD Dr. med. David Simon