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Division of Connective Tissue Disease (Rheumatology)

Founded in 1958
100+ Fellows Trained

The Division of Connective Tissue Disease (Rheumatology) has a rich tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care, and is firmly committed to continuing this tradition.

We are fortunate to have a diverse faculty with different backgrounds that enlarge our ability to fulfill our mission. Our Clinical Faculty diagnose and treat the full gamut of rheumatic diseases from the common to the obscure.

Our division has a long history of research in the biological properties of collagen, fibroblast biology, inflammation, immunoregulation, animal models of collagen-induced autoimmune arthritis and clinical translational research in rheumatic diseases. The rodent model of type II collagen-induced arthritis (a widely used model of rheumatoid arthritis) was discovered and developed at the Memphis VA Medical Center (VAMC) and UTHSC and is used worldwide as a model for rheumatoid arthritis, with over 25,000 articles published on this topic.

Pioneering work was also conducted by members of our division on the structure of collagens and how inflammation and immune reactions lead to fibrosis. As a result of over 40 years of continuous funding from Federal and Private Foundations by grants, many successful physician scientists and basic scientists have been recruited and trained with an excellent track record of obtaining research funding.

UTHSC Researchers Find High Number of Anaphylaxis Cases Due to a Red Meat Allergy Linked to Tick Bites

Dr. Debendra PattanaikThe results of a new study performed at a University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) affiliate clinic showed that alpha-gal (a complex sugar found in red meat from beef, pork, venison, etc.) was the most common known cause of red meat allergy anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. “Of the 218 cases of anaphylaxis we reviewed, 33 percent were from alpha gal,” said Debendra N. Pattanaik, MD, MBBS, FACR, FAAAI, associate professor of rheumatology in the UTHSC College of Medicine and principal investigator of the study." Read More

More Division of Rheumatology News
May 26, 2022