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About the Lab

Dr. Gary S. Firestein has studied the role of aggressive synoviocyte behavior in RA as a mechanism of joint destruction and implicated tumor suppressor gene mutations in the pathogenesis of disease. Over the last decade, his laboratory has worked extensively on signal transduction pathways as potential therapeutic targets. These studies identified key signaling molecules regulating synovial inflammation and paved the way for several effective oral small-molecule inhibitors that are currently in the late phase of clinical development for RA. 

Dr. Firestein's work focuses on the pathogenesis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. He was among the first to map the synovial cytokine profile of RA and demonstrate the dominance of macrophage and fibroblast products. These studies played a pivotal role in the development of the highly effective anti-TNF and other anti-cytokine approaches to RA.

More recently, his group focused on targeting kinases in inflammatory diseases and mapping the epigenome in RA. In addition, he directed a number of innovative clinical studies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, and autoinflammatory syndromes with a focus on developing novel biomarker endpoints. His group developed novel biomarker studies using serial synovial biopsy studies in RA to understand the mechanism of action for anti-rheumatic agents.

The lab has trained nearly 40 post-doctoral fellows, 10 of whom have become division or department heads.