Professor Cairns is interested in rheumatic autoimmune diseases. She is the winner of the Schulich Educator Award. Her lab is focused on rheumatic autoimmune diseases. Specifically, current research focuses on the pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). She studies the role of MHC class II molecules as well as auto-antigens (e.g.citrullinated proteins) in the development of this disease. Research is performed using human RA clinical specimens and humanized (MHC class II) tg mice as animal model for RA.