Section on Rheumatology & Immunology
The Section on Rheumatology promotes and supports education, research, and clinical care of rheumatic diseases.
Multi-disciplinary Clinical Practice
Because inflammatory and immune disorders can affect many systems in the body, Section clinicians also partner with specialists throughout the Medical Center to provide each patient with appropriate, comprehensive care. The Section’s clinical practice utilizes the expertise of faculty rheumatologists, registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and social workers to meet the needs of patients who come to the Section’s clinics and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from throughout North Carolina. Clinical services address the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, SLE, gout, scleroderma, and inflammatory muscle disorders.
In 2006-2007, the Section received external funding for basic and clinical research approaching $1.3 million. The research interests of the faculty are broad and include clinical research in interventional rheumatology such as arthroscopy, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren's syndrome, and Raynaud's syndrome.
Basic research studies of the faculty include molecular mechanisms of cellular immune dysfunction in SLE, signal transduction in B cells, and the control of macrophage functions in inflammation. The laboratory of Dr. Wallin has developed a system to study the molecular mechanisms of the anti-coagulant Coumadin and is currently isolating the Coumadin-sensitive enzyme present in the vitamin K cycle with a goal of creating better anticoagulant drugs and revealing the molecular cause of Coumadin resistance.