In addition to the patient care and education mission, of the Division has a long tradition of performing cutting edge research related to the rheumatic diseases that has been and is currently funded by many peer reviewed grants from the Federal funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) as well as grants from the American Heart Association, National Arthritis Foundation and National Scleroderma Foundation. Members of the Division and collaborators have made numerous discoveries and contributions to the world's scientific literature. These included but are not limited to: seminal papers published dealing with collagen platelet interaction, collagen structure, fibroblast functions including chemostaxis (the first assay for which was developed and perfected by Dr. Postlethwaite), identification of cytokines/growth factors that regulate collagen and matrix synthesis and degradation, characterization of matrix metalloproteinases, collagen autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic sclerosis (SSc). Discovery and development of the rodent model of rheumatoid arthritis based on immunity to the autoantigen, type II collagen, treatment of autoimmune arthritis by inducing immune tolerance and use of altered peptide ligands, characterization of regulatory cells, use of molecular phenotyping to study pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, gene therapy, mechanisms by which chronic sleep disruption enhances autoimmune arthritis, role of MHC in controlling susceptibility to autoimmune arthritis, role of cytokines in effecting the SSc platelet phenotype, and risk factor for osteoporosis.
Division of Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Disorders
956 Court Ave., Suite G-326
Memphis, TN 38163-0001