Division Director: James Oates, M.D.
Division Administrator: Rebekah Shinta, MHA
The Division of Rheumatology & Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has a long tradition of providing outstanding care to patients of all ages who suffer from rheumatic diseases. The Division has earned an international reputation for its care and research relating to two autoimmune connective tissue diseases - scleroderma and lupus. Our patients are seen in specialized clinics located in Rutledge Tower at MUSC, as well as off-campus locations at East Cooper Specialty Care, North Charleston Specialty Care, and West Ashley Specialty Care. We staff a rheumatology clinic at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and provide inpatient consultation services at each of the hospitals served by University Hospital, Ashley River Tower, MUSC Children's Hospital, and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. A wide range of services are provided, including comprehensive consultative care, infusion therapies, bone density assessments, and musculoskeletal ultrasound. In Rutledge Tower, patients are seen in conjunction with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care and the Division of Cardiology to have pulmonary function testing and echocardiograms performed on the day of their clinic visits.
A unique aspect of the Division is our close relationship with and longstanding commitment to Pediatric Rheumatology. Two board-certified Pediatric Rheumatologists, Natasha Ruth, M.D. and Robert Warren, M.D., Ph.D., share dual appointments in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Together, we strive to provide outstanding care to children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. The Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program was launched in 2011.
The Division is engaged in both clinical and basic research. Members of the Division receive funding from the American College of Rheumatology, Arthritis Foundation, Lupus Foundation, and Lupus Clinic Trials Consortium. Division faculty authored more than 50 articles/abstracts last year, including papers in leading medical and scientific journals, e.g., Journal of Biological Chemistry, Arthritis & Rheumatism, and the Journal of Rheumatology. Faculty members serve on numerous federal and private scientific review committees, editorial boards, and as officers of state and national organizations. The Division was recently approved for the creation of the MUSC Inflammation and Fibrosis Research Center of Economic Excellence through the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence Program. The center focuses on clinical and translational research which is related to both scleroderma and lupus.
The Division is proud to be training the next generation of physicians and investigators who will study and care for patients who suffer from rheumatic diseases. Faculty members actively participate in educating medical and graduate students, residents, clinical fellows, and postdoctoral research fellows. The Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, under the outstanding leadership of Faye Hant, D.O., Associate Professor, is fully accredited and comprised of six clinical and research fellows selected from a competitive pool of candidates. Fellows are supported in part by a NIH Training Grant (Gary Gilkeson, M.D., PI). The Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program offers fellows the opportunity to see a wide array of rheumatic disease patients in a variety of clinical settings, to participate in clinical and basic research, and to obtain advanced training leading to a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research.