Our Research

Thanks to major strides in research, for many people arthritis is no longer the severely crippling disease it was only a generation ago. The Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis has contributed importantly to this progress by supporting numerous scientific advances at UCSF.

Laboratory Research

UCSF investigators are making important progress in understanding how the immune system goes awry and causes arthritis and in designing more effective, less toxic treatments. They are also pioneers in studying the interface between bone biology and immunology—called osteoimmunology—with the goal of learning how to inhibit bone destruction caused by arthritis and osteoporosis. In addition, UCSF researchers are studying arthritis pain and designing more effective pain relief medications.

Clinical Research

The UCSF Division of Rheumatology Clinical Trials program is one of the largest in the nation. At any given time, as many as a dozen new treatments are being tested—and people are known to have moved across the country to the San Francisco Bay Area for early access to promising new drugs. In addition to having an especially strong program in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, UCSF stands out for its commitment to offer clinical trials for patients with uncommon forms of arthritis. These include ankylosing spondylitis, an arthritis of the spine; and Wegener's Granulomatosis, a serious and potentially life-threatening disease in which the blood vessels are inflamed.

In addition, UCSF's genetic epidemiology studies are among the most ambitious ever undertaken to learn about the genetic factors involved in both rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Thanks to major strides in research, for many people arthritis is no longer the severely crippling disease it was only a generation ago. The future holds enormous promise. Doctors will be able to predict—long before symptoms appear—who is at risk for many forms of arthritis. They will also know whether a specific case is likely to be mild or serious and will often be able to prescribe highly personalized drug regimens to prevent or delay onset of the disease. Also, a powerful new arsenal of more effective, less toxic drugs will further improve the quality of life of those afflicted with the disease.

Scientific Investigators

Key investigators involved in the UCSF Division of Rheumatology's laboratory, clinical, genetic epidemiological and health services research include:

Krishna Chaganti, M.D.

Kari Connolly, M.D.

Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H.

Jeffrey Critchfield, M.D.

David Daikh, M.D., Ph.D.

Maria Dall'Era, M.D.

Lianne S. Gensler, M.D.

Jonathan Graf, M.D.

Andrew Gross, M.D.

John Imboden, M.D.

Patricia Katz, Ph.D.

Jon D. Levine, M.D., Ph.D.

Mehrdad Matloubian, M.D., Ph.D.

Mary Nakamura, M.D.

B. Matija Peterlin, M.D.

Kenneth E. Sack, M.D.

William E. Seaman, M.D.

Arthur Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.

David Wofsy, M.D., Associate Director, Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis

Edward Yelin, Ph.D.



Honors & Awards


Dr. David Wofsy received the New York Academy of Medicine's Paul Klemperer Award and Medal "for outstanding scientific achievements and contributions to the study of connective tissues and their diseases."


Dr. Julie Zikherman is the first beneficiary of the Laura Bechtel Endowment for Junior Faculty in the UCSF Division of Rheumatology. She also received a career development award from the National Institutes of Health.


Dr. Mehrdad Matloubian was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.


Dr. Tamiko Katsumoto received a Research and Education Foundation Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology.


Dr. Maria Dall 'Era received the UCSF Medical Center Exceptional Physician Award for 2010.


Dr. David Daikh has been named vice president of the Research and Education Foundation of the American College of Rheumatology.


Dr. Jennifer Barton has received one of the 2009-2010 Hellman Family Awards for Early Career Faculty.


Dr. Sharon Chung has received a UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Career Development Award.


Dr. Ephraim P. Engleman, Director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis, has been honored by creation of the Ephraim P. Engleman Resident Research Award by the American College of Rheumatology. In 2007 he was awarded a Gold Medal from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.


Dr. Mary Margaretten has been selected for one of the 2009 Distinguished Fellow Awards from the American College of Rheumatology.


Five UCSF rheumatology investigators were selected for 2009 American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation awards: Rachel Kaiser, MD, MPH, Aimee Hersh, MD, Julie Baker-LePain, MD, PhD, Umila Bajpai, MD, and Celia Fang, MD. No other institution has ever won as many of these awards in a single year.


Dr. Kenneth Sack has been named a "master clinician" by the UCSF Department of Medicine in recognition of outstanding patient care.


Dr. Julia Charles, UCSF Rheumatology Fellow, is the recipient of the 2007 Abbott Rheumatology Scholars Award.


Dr. Sharon Chung, UCSF Rheumatology Fellow, received the 2007 Physician Scientist Development Award from the American College of Rheumatology.


Dr. Lindsey Criswell, Professor in Residence in the UCSF Division of Rheumatology, has been named a Kirkland Scholar for 2005—2008 in recognition of her outstanding research on lupus.


Dr. Laura Julian, Assistant Adjunct Professor in the UCSF Division of Rheumatology, received a 2007 Pilot Award from the Alliance for Lupus Research.


Dr. Rachel Kaiser, UCSF Rheumatology Fellow, has been awarded a 2007 Arthritis Foundation Fellowship Award.


Dr. Mary Nakamura, Associate Professor in the UCSF Division of Rheumatology, was awarded the 2006 Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology.

  
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