Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., MPH
Dr. Ritchlin is also the Director of the Clinical Immunology Research Unit where he is the principle investigator on several clinical trials testing the efficacy of anti-TNF agents and other biologic molecules in the treatment of psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. In the Clinical Immunology Research Unit, patient oriented research is conducted on multiple levels. Investigator New Drug (IND) trials of novel agents (adalimumab, rituximab) in the treatment of PsA and AS have been completed or are about to start. Additional trials have been performed to study the effect of TNF inhibition on the frequency of osteoclast precursors and enhancing bone marrow edema in PsA. The Unit also conducts multicenter trials with novel biologic agents such as rituximab and abatacept in PsA with special attention directed towards understanding how these agents alter bone remodeling in these disorders. Additional studies underway include microanalysis assays of synovium, skin and intestinal tissues in patients with Immune Mediated Inflammatory Disroders (IMIDs) before and after TNF inhibition. Future plans include the development of ultrasound outcome measures in collaboration with Dr. Ralf Thiele and Dr. Darren Tabechian, to assess synovial, lymph node and periarticular tissue responses to different therapies in inflammatory arthritis.