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This division is responsible for the evaluation and management of patients with diseases of the musculoskeletal system at the University of Florida Shands Hospital and the Gainesville VAMC. There is an inpatient consultation service and active outpatient clinics, which serve as a regional and international referral center for the management of rheumatic diseases.
There is a strong research interest in the systemic autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis and vasculitis. Faculty research activities are reflected in the division’s clinical activities, which increasingly are orientated toward specialized outpatient units for managing complex disorders of the immune system. The centerpiece of these efforts is the newly established Autoimmune Disease Center, which is mandated to promote understanding of the causes of systemic autoimmunity and the identification of more effective approaches to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.
Fibromyalgia is a condition in which a person has long-term pain that is spread throughout the body.
Gout is a type of arthritis. It occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes inflammation in the joints.
Polymyositis is a rare inflammatory disease that leads to muscle weakness, swelling, tenderness and tissue damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues.
Scleroderma is a disease that involves the buildup of scar-like tissue in the skin and elsewhere in the body.
Sjögren syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
Clinical research is rapidly expanding through the University of Florida’s NIH-supported UF Clinical Research Center and through the new state and federally funded Autoimmune Disease Center. An interdisciplinary approach is one of the major strengths of the program. An experimental therapeutics research program will be established in the near future, with plans to recruit an additional faculty member with interests in this area.