Research and Scholarly Projects

The research activities of the Division encompass basic and clinical investigations in the areas of spondyloarthritis, systemic sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Researchers in our division have been instrumental in defining the genetic basis of spondyloarthritis (including ankylosing spondylitis) and systemic sclerosis. The presence of large observational cohorts of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (PSOAS cohort) and systemic sclerosis (GENISOS cohort) has enabled clinically relevant translational research in these diseases. Our researchers have extensive experience in linking large-scale gene expression and proteomic data to clinical outcomes of these cohorts. Moreover, our group is conducting several translational studies utilizing murine models and in-vitro assays to elucidate the functional relevance of discovered molecular signatures. There are also ongoing clinical trials for development of new treatments in several rheumatic diseases. In fact, our clinical researchers have been involved in most of the important clinical trials in spondyloarthritis and systemic sclerosis.

PGY5s conduct a mentored research project with one of our faculty members where they receive hands-on mentoring in data collection, analysis, and preparation of abstracts and manuscripts. This mentored research is typically focused on a clinical, quality improvement, or translational project. Fellows are encouraged to take courses in the NIH-supported Clinical Research Curriculum or Master’s Program in Clinical Research offered in our medical school.

For fellows who plan to pursue a research career in rheumatology, we offer an additional third year of fellowship. This program includes formal training in Master’s Program in Clinical Research (clinical or translational track) and hands-on training in a more in-depth research project. PGY6 fellows submit a competitive proposal for a career development award at the end of their fellowship.