William H. Robinson, MD, PhD
Dr. Robinson's research focuses on elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying rheumatic diseases, in particular rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The major objective of his laboratory is translational bench-to-bedside research, with the goal of rapidly converting discoveries at the bench into practical patient care tools and therapies. Candidate pathogenic molecules and pathways, identified through genomic, proteomic and lipidomic analyses of human patient samples, are investigated in mouse models of RA and OA. Ongoing work in the laboratory include identification of central roles for receptor tyrosine kinases in the pathogenesis of RA and diffuse systemic sclerosis, characterization of carboxypeptidases and their roles in downregulating inflammatory responses in RA, and investigation of inflammatory mechanisms in OA. Based on technologies and approaches developed or co-developed by the Robinson laboratory, clinical development programs have arisen in three areas: (i) human trials to test tolerizing DNA vaccines for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and autoimmune diabetes, (ii) human trials to test imatinib and other tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of systemic sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, and (iii) human studies to test proteomic diagnostic tests for RA.