NIH-funded UCSD rheumatic diseases center to facilitate collaboration, speed discoveries

encing facility of the RDCC Molecular Biology Core. He studies autoantigens and autoantibodies in systemic autoimmune diseases and cancer, with the hope of understanding why specific large antigens are produced in various disease states.

Mary P. Corr, M.D., UCSD assistant professor of medicine, works on the development of a DNA vaccine for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis. In addition, she investigates the influence of antigen presentation on the immune response and has generated several transgenic animals for studies of B cell response and regulation.

Michael Croft, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, is studying the role of CD4 T cells and cytokines in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. He is interested in cell signaling in allergic inflammation and the costimulatory interactions during the aging process.

Gary Firestein, M.D., UCSD professor of medicine and chief, UCSD Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, brings his UCSD Center for Innovative Therapy to the RDCC as well as research into the origin and development of rheumatoid arthritis. His work has been instrumental in identifying the disease-associated cytokine networks, which are key components of the rheumatoid arthritis synovial inflammation process. In addition, his studies have identified proteins like TNF alpha as potential therapeutic targets.

Douglas R. Green, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, studies the mechanisms of apoptosis (cell death) in the immune system, including its role in chronic rheumatoid arthritis and stress-induced apoptosis in T cells.

Arthur Kavanaugh, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director, UCSD Center for Innovative Therapy, is a nationally recognized leader in the design and conduct of clinical trials of novel therapies for patients with rheumatic diseases. He is also the clinical director of the RDCC.

Martin Lotz, M.D., chief, Division of Arthritis

Contact: Sue Pondrom
University of California - San Diego

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