The division's research productivity has been high, with more than 60 papers published in PubMed-cited journals since January 2003.
The adult and pediatric rheumatology divisions collaborate on research endeavors with both groups having combined research conferences and both playing critical roles in the establishment of a basic and translational immunobiology division and the founding of a new immunobiology graduate program.
The division has RO1, R21, PO1, and VA Merit awards of more than $2 million annually. Key research laboratories include that of Fred Finkelman, MD, and William Ridgway, MD.
Finkelman, MD, McDonald Professor of Medicine and professor of pediatrics, has considerable expertise in cytokine biology and the use of mouse models to study immunobiology.
Finkelman's research interests include the regulation of Th2 cytokine responses and Th2 cytokine effects; the roles of TH2 cytokines in host protection against infectious agents; the roles of B cell membrane immunoglobulin in lymphocyte activation and tolerance; and the development of a novel method for measuring in vivo cytokine production.
Finkelman's lab has published more than 300 papers and he has been among the 100 most-cited immunologists during the past 20 years.
The lab specializes in the use and manipulation of in vivo mouse models to answer questions of biological importance about immunoregulation. His lab has been active in training young faculty members and has recently accepted its first clinical immunology fellow.
Ridgway has major areas of investigative interest including autoimmunity, immunogenetics, T cells, autoimmune (Type I) diabetes and autoimmune liver disease (primary biliary cirrhosis).
The goal of his lab is to determine the immunogenetic mechanisms of PBC-like autoimmune liver disease arising in the NOD.c3c4 mouse, and to dissect genetic control of loss of T sell tolerance in nonobese diabetic (NOD) and NOD congenic mice.
Ridgway is a principal investigator on two NIH R01 grants, “The Pathogenesis of Autoimmunity in a Murine Model of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis” and “dnTGF Beta RII Mice and PCB."
He is also the principal investigator on a VA Merit Award, “Immunogenetic Control of Autoimmune biliary disease,” as well as an American Diabetes Association basic science grant, “Soluble CD137 therapy of type one diabetes.”
Finally, he is the principal investigator on an NIH P30 grant, “A mouse model of Relapsing Polychondritis.”
The division is also involved in a number of projects, many of which are available for participation by division fellows.
These include multiple studies in lupus in collaboration with Hermine Brunner, MD, MSc, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and neuropsychiatric lupus with Michael Luggen, MD, professor of medicine for the division.
The faculty continue to collaborate with Lesley Arnold, MD, professor in the UC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, on fibromyalgia studies.