Division of Rheumatology
About the Division
The mission of the Rheumatology Division is a tripartite one, focused on patient care, education and research. On the research front, the Division has historically been especially strong in the area of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and continues that tradition. In terms of basic science investigation, Division Chief William Stohl, MD, PhD, continues to focus on factors that affect the survival and function of B cells, a type of cell that is critical to normal function of the immune system but which functions abnormally in SLE and drives disease. In parallel, Dr. Chaim Jacob continues his groundbreaking work in discovering and characterizing new genes important to the development of SLE. More recently Dr. Stohl, in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Hamm-Alvarez in the Department of Ophthalmology, has embarked on a program in Sjögren’s syndrome to identify tear-based biomarkers to help in the diagnosis and management of this disease.
On the patient care front, the Division provides broad clinical services at LAC+USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) and Keck Hospital of USC (KH). Dr. Richard Panush directs the Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, Drs. Daniel Arkfeld and Glenn Ehresmann serve as co-chiefs of the LAC+USC Arthritis Outpatient Clinic. They, along with Drs. Stratos Christianakis, Elizabeth Ortiz, Richard Panush and Shuntaro Shinada, are using new state-of-the-art agents to treat patients at KH afflicted with a variety of rheumatic diseases and are working with their orthopedic colleagues to provide comprehensive care for all their patients. The Rheumatology faculty continue to provide oversight to the unique rehabilitation and chronic care services offered at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho).
On the education front, the Division leverages the diverse clinical resources of LAC+USC, Rancho and KH to provide outstanding training for medical students, postdoctoral medical residents, and fellows. The Rheumatology Fellowship emphasizes patient care for a broad range of rheumatic diseases and understanding the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. New and expanded programs in musculoskeletal ultrasonography, led by Dr. Shuntaro Shinada, highlight the Division’s commitment to being at the educational forefront of Rheumatology. The Division’s many accomplishments during the past year reflect the skills and creativity of dedicated faculty.