Department of Medicine

Memorial CampusRheumatology Division

Overview

The Division of Rheumatology provides comprehensive care for patients with rheumatic diseases. This year, the Division moved to a newly renovated, dedicated space on the Memorial campus.  This location houses the clinic, staff and physician offices, and conference room, offering  an ideal venue for care of patients with rheumatic diseases as well as close proximity to our colleagues in the Orthopedics Department.

Divisional conferences are held weekly on Friday mornings, and include a Grand Rounds series, and patient management conference. Full-time consultative service for inpatients and outpatients with rheumatic diseases are offered.  In addition to the general rheumatology clinics, we will be starting a combined rheumatology-dermatology clinic in conjunction with our dermatology colleagues. 

The division is heavily involved in all levels of medical education.  Our faculty teach a variety of courses in the preclinical medical student curriculum, most notably the Musculoskeletal Block of the second-year Biology of Disease course.  3rd and 4th year medical students and residents are taught by Rheumatology faculty serving as attendings on the ward teaching and consult services.  The division also offers subspecialty fellowship training.

Clinical Research in the Division has focused on multiple areas including osteoporosis and gout, largely in collaboration with the Meyers Primary Care Institute. Basic science research in the Division includes work in Dr. Gravallese’s laboratory on pathogenic mechanisms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoclastogenesis and the role of osteoblasts in articular bone destruction. In addition, Dr. Robert Zurier’s laboratory studies the effect of fish oil and other agents on the process of inflammation in arthritis.  Collaborations have been established with Cell Biology in areas of rheumatic disease and bone.

Division Chief

Dr. Ellen Gravallese, Chief of Rheumatology, is  Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology. Dr. Gravallese is a graduate of Harvard College and obtained her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed a joint residency in Internal Medicine and Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and went on to a fellowship in Rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, during which she trained in the laboratory of Dr. Laurie Glimcher at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Gravallese has served on the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Board of the Bone and Joint Decade, and is a trustee of the Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Gravallese’s laboratory research efforts have concentrated upon pathogenic mechanisms of inflammatory arthritis, with a special interest in rheumatoid arthritis. Contributions include the identification of cell types producing matrix metalloproteinase enzymes that destroy the extracellular matrix of cartilage in disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and pigmented villonodular synovitis, and the identification of pathways leading to bone destruction in rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical research interests have focused on focal bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis and the relationship of articular and systemic bone loss. Dr. Gravallese’s clinical interests include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.