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Program Faculty

  • Director

    Associate Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology); Chief of Rheumatology, VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Associate Professor on Term, Chronic Disease Epidemiology; Network Lead, Yale Network for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NGN); Associate Program Director, Global Health Equity Scholars Program; Program Director, CMB Global Health Fellowship Programs; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Dr. Hsieh is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) at Yale, and Chief of Rheumatology for the VA Connecticut HealthCare System. She enjoys caring for patients and teaching on the medical wards of the West Haven VA Medical Center. Dr. Hsieh is dedicated to bridging the fields of global health and rheumatology, in particular through research training. Her research combines biomedical and behavioral sciences approaches, and has leveraged national cohorts and international registries to better understand drivers of risk for osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and fracture among patients with chronic infection or inflammatory disease. A major focus of her work is on prevention, epidemiology and health services research for these musculoskeletal outcomes among individuals aging with HIV in countries undergoing economic transition (e.g., China and Peru) where incidence of these conditions is increasing, however infrastructure and capacity to diagnose and manage these comorbidities remains fragmented. The tools and models developed through this work have also translated to other low-resource settings and models of secondary osteoporosis (e.g., breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis). Dr. Hsieh also has a rich program of research at the VA, where she co-directs the Rheumatology, Endocrine and Geriatric Syndromes Core of the VA Family of EHR cohorts and is co-PI of an NIH-funded study to develop and validate a fracture risk prediction tool tailored for patients aging with HIV. This study leverages the outstanding infrastructure and team of the Veteran's Aging Cohort Study, the largest cohort of patients with HIV in the U.S., and partners with collaborators from Yale New Haven Healthcare System and BU/Boston Medical Center. Finally, Dr. Hsieh is committed to mentoring research scholars through programs such as the Global Health Equity Scholars Program, the CMB Global Health Leadership Development Program, and the NIH T32 Training Program of the Yale Section of Rheumatology. Her research has been supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (Fogarty International Center, NIAMS, NIAAA, NCI, NIA, NCATS), Rheumatology Research Foundation, China Medical Board, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She is co-founder and lead of the Yale Network for Global Non-Communicable Diseases, and was a 2018-2019 Fulbright Scholar. She was a past member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and inaugural chair of the ACR Global Engagement Committee.
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology); Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Dr. Bilsborrow completed his MD at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 2016. Dr. Bilsborrow then joined the section of Yale Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology for his fellowship training in 2016 and is currently doing research with Dr. Richard Bucala. His current research involves the isolation and characterization of the memory T cell subsets involved in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. He is also interested in global health and rheumatology education and expansion in developing countries in particular.
  • Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Professor of Pathology and of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Chief, Rheumatology, Allergy, & Immunology; Rheumatologist in Chief, Rheumatology; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Richard Bucala, MD, PhD, is Chief, Section of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology and the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Endowed Professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Epidemiology & Public Health. He studies the regulation of the immune system with a focus on how protective responses can lead to immunopathology and disease. His laboratory’s main emphasis is MIF-family cytokines, their role in genetic susceptibility to disease, and their therapeutic targeting for different clinical conditions. The Bucala group is credited with the molecular cloning of MIF and discovery of its critical role in regulating glucocorticoid immunosuppression, which opened novel approaches to therapy in autoimmune inflammatory conditions. His lab also identified the MIF receptor and discovered common polymorphisms in the MIF gene, which show global population stratification. Depending on the nature of the immune or invasive provocation, variant MIF alleles protect from disease or contribute to immunopathology in autoimmunity and in different infections and chronic conditions. His laboratory developed biochips for genetic epidemiology studies of malaria and tuberculosis in resource-limited settings, and his research is leading efforts to develop MIF-based therapies tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup. Dr. Bucala licensed anti-MIF toward the development of Imalumab and his work contributed to the FDA-approved anti-MIF receptor antibody (Milatuzumab). Research partnerships in structure-based drug design have led to novel small molecule MIF modulators for use in autoimmune, oncologic, and infectious diseases. The function of the MIF-like genes expressed by the parasites responsible for malaria, leishmaniasis, and helminthic infection also are under investigation. As these proteins were discovered to uniquely suppress immunologic memory, they offer new targets for vaccination against these infections. Dr. Bucala further is credited with the discovery of the circulating fibrocyte, which is being targeted therapeutically in different fibrosing disorders. He co-founded two biotechnology companies, including the startup MIFCOR begun as a student-advised project. He attends in the Yale New Haven Health System in-patient service and is the past Editor-in-Chief of Arthritis & Rheumatology. Dr. Bucala was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and has served on advisory boards for the UN, the federal government, the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and private foundations.
  • Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology) and of Pediatrics (General Pediatrics); Professor

    Dr. Buckley is an adult and pediatric rheumatologist with special interests in the treatment of lupus and inflammatory arthritis, glucocorticoid osteoporosis, and the transition of teenagers and young adults with rheumatic diseases to adult care. She is a past member of the FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee and the boards of the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation.
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & immunology)

    Dr. Chock is a physician and clinical researcher investigating medication use and offspring outcomes amongst parents with rheumatic diseases. She has strong interests in reproductive rheumatology and utilizing large datasets to support her research. Dr. Chock completed her MD degree at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.  She completed her residency at New York Presbyterian in Queens, New York.  Dr. Chock joined the Section of Rheumatology for her fellowship in 2016, she received her MPH degree from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Associate Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology); Medical Director Hamden CT site, Rheumatology

    Dr. Desir is a graduate of Harvard University (cum laude) and Yale School of Medicine (cum laude, AOA). She completed residency in internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and fellowship in rheumatology at Yale School of Medicine. She is founder of the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center, PC, in Hamden, Branford, and Milford, CT, and served as its medical director for 27 years. She is currently associate professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, Yale School of Medicine, and medical director of Yale Medicine Rheumatology, Hamden. Dr. Desir has served as ACR alternate advisor to the AMA RUC Committee. She was a member of the ACR Government Affairs Committee, Committee on Rheumatologic Care, RheumPAC, and Finance Committee. She was a member of the State of Connecticut Partnership Advisory Panel on Lupus. She has served on the Ethics & Judicial Affairs Committee of the New Haven County Medical Association. She is on the Finance & Legislative Committees for the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) and served as CSMS Council representative from the Elizabeth Blackwell Woman’s Section. She is a past president of the New Haven County Medical Association. She is president of the American College of Rheumatology and was installed as president in November 2023. She is on the Board of the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center Foundation, the Board of Trustees of Quinnipiac University and the Board of Directors of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. She is a member of the New Haven Chapter of The Links, Inc., the New Haven Chapter of Girlfriends, Inc., the Theta Epsilon Omega chapter of AKA Sorority, Inc., and the Garden Club of New Haven. She was a member of the Garden Club of America’s Ad Hoc Committee on Cultivating Common Ground and Building Diversity. She currently serves on the Police Commission for the Town of Woodbridge, CT, along with the Democratic Town Committee. She is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven, CT. She is the wife of Dr. Gary Desir and the daughter of the late Dr. Benjamin I. Dyett and Mrs. Betty M. Dyett. She is the mother of Carl (Reema), Matthew (Cortni), Chrysanthemum (Camille Seaberry), and Alexandra (Maurice Clarke), and the grandmother of Elodie, Amari, Zaydee and Lexington.
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology)

    Dr. Dong received medical degree from Wuhan University School of Medicine before pursuing PhD study at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Her PhD work focused on chemoattractant signaling in leukocyte activation at the sites of infection and inflammation including arteriosclerosis. For post-doctoral work, she joined Dr. Craft’s laboratory while completing rheumatology fellowship in Yale. Since then, she starts growing the Yale lupus patient registry and biorepository. She is an active clinical faculty, enjoying caring for rheumatology patients and clinical teaching of medical trainees. Her current research focuses on the risk factors and prevention of cardiovascular disease in rheumatic disorders, especially patients with lupus
  • Professor; Director of Allergy & Immunology, Internal Medicine

    Dr. Insoo Kang is Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology) at Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his post-graduate training in rheumatology and immunology research at Yale. He has been on the faculty at Yale School of Medicine since 1999. He is a physician scientist with a research interest in understanding the human immune system using biological samples and clinical data. In particular, Dr. Kang has defined subsets of T cells with distinct cellular characteristics based on the expression of cytokine receptors on T cells in health and disease as well as the interactions of such cell subsets with monocytes and other immune cells.
  • Associate Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology); Director of Education and Training, Rheumatology; Director Yale Lupus Program

    My expertise is in the diagnosis and clinical care of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as well as in the conduct of clinical trials.  My initial research interests have evolved from laboratory-based investigation (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1997; 94:7566-7571) to an academic clinical career focused on SLE and rheumatology education.   My early professional experience as medical director of Dr. Manzi’s Lupus Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh put me at the center of managing multidisciplinary clinical services while engaging in clinical research and clinical trials. One of these lead to a new therapy for SLE in 2011.  As Director of the Yale Lupus Program, I lead a dedicated team focused on SLE care, research, and wellness.  An off-shoot of the lupus program was the development the Yale rheumatology-dermatology clinic, which I founded.  Also, I created a biobank from a well characterized cohort of patients with SLE that produced collaborative research in cardiac lupus, pathogenies of lupus, inflammasome biology, and others.  Under my leadership, Yale is now part of every major clinical trial in SLE. I often provide advice for new SLE trials.  I was asked to be part of the Executive Health Yale Medicine Program based on my expertise and reputation.   In 2019 I became Training Program Director and recently was elected to serve on the American College of Rheumatology Education grant study section and on the Committee on Training and Workforce issues where we hope to develop a resource for those transitioning into the role of Program Director.  I leverage my skills as an academic clinician and disease subspecialist to develop outstanding next generation rheumatologists.
  • Instructor; Chair of Medicine, Waterbury Hospital; Clinical Professor of Medicine, Quinnipiac University

    Dr. Podell joined Waterbury Hospital in 1989 and is Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine, Quinnipiac University.Dr. Podell graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1980. He completed his internship, residency, and fellowship in rheumatology at Yale University School of Medicine in 1986. Dr. Podell is board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. In 1989 he became the Director of Rheumatology at Waterbury Hospital and joined the clinical faculty of the Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program. In 1994 he became Director of Medicine until 2007 at which time he served as Firm Chief for the next five years until assuming the role of Chairman of Medicine at Waterbury Hospital again in 2012. Dr. Podell is also a past Governor of the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Physicians.Dr. Podell’s interests lie in patient centered care and in general clinical rheumatology.Dr. Podell is a Master in the American College of Physicians, and a Fellow in the American College of Rheumatology. He is also a Fellow in the Royal College of Physicians-London.He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Laureate Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Physicians, and the George Thornton Award for recognizing his teaching ability. Dr. Podell also has won the Hospital Teacher of the Year from the Yale University School Internal Medicine Primary Care Residency Program on two occasions. He has also won the Teacher of the Year for the newly formed Yale-New Haven Hospital/Waterbury Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program. He has been one of Connecticut’s Top Docs consecutively since 1995 and has been featured in the Diagnosis Column of the New York Times magazine section written by Dr. Lisa Sanders. In addition, the Podell Firm has been named in his honor at Waterbury Hospital.
  • Staff Affiliate - YNHH; Family Nurse Practitioner

    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.". Jacinta Renaldi MSN is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner working in the section of Rheumatology at Yale. Beginning her career in nursing in 2004, Jacinta has worked with diverse populations ranging from newborns to geriatric patients in a variety of settings. She began practicing rheumatology in 2009 and joined Yale Rheumatology in 2015. She has a special interest in the treatment of Lupus and other Connective Tissue Disorders and has worked extensively in the development of the Yale Lupus Wellness Program. She was appointed Lead Advanced Practice Provider for section of Rheumatology in 2022.

Program Trainees

  • Staff Affiliate - Other

    Dr. Diego M. Cabrera finished his medical school at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. After graduation, he was awarded by NIH Fogarty International Center/NIAMS Global Health fellowship to conduct research focused on the musculoskeletal outcomes of Peruvian women aging with HIV, including osteoporosis, sarcopenia and fractures. After his Global Health fellowship, he joined the Yale Section of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology as a post-doctoral fellow and associate with studies related to the musculoskeletal outcomes after COVID-related hospitalization in elderly population among the Yale-New Haven Health System. He later joined the Yale-Waterbury Internal Medicine Residency Program as a Internal Medicine resident. He is interested in Rheumatology and Global Heath.
  • Clinical Fellow

    Mario Felix, MD graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He then attended the University of Connecticut School of Medicine where he graduated with a medical degree in 2018. He then completed a Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency program at Albany Medical College in 2022. He subsequently began his rheumatology fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine in 2022.
  • Divya Gumudavelly is a Masters of Public Health candidate at the Yale School of Public Health. She is an aspiring mixed methods researcher who hopes to create sustainable, culturally competent multi level interventions that address maternal and child health, global health, mental health, and chronic diseases. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in May 2020 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Neuroscience and Sociology of Health and Medicine. Upon graduation, Divya served as the Research Program Coordinator for the EMBRace Lab at the University of Michigan School of public health. In engaging with underserved communities in the metro Detroit area, she developed a passion for community based participatory research and advocating for access to mental healthcare for all.
  • Dr. Malca Hernandez spent his fellowship year at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima under the mentorship of Patricia Garcia, PhD, MPH, MD and Evelyn Hsieh, PhD, MPH, MD. His research focused on exploring the interrelationships of aging expectations and quality of life, depression, stigma, and musculoskeletal health among middle-aged and older patients with HTV in Peru. Dr. Malca Hernandez received his medical degree from UPCH. He is a budding researcher whose career goal is to contribute to developing public health policies to reduce the impact of infectious and tropical diseases in Peru, South America, and globally. Also, he is interested in pursuing a Master of Global Health and maintaining the relationships formed at the NTH orientation and Yale in order to plan for future research collaborations.
  • Clinical Fellow

    Dr. Pal obtained her MPH with a focus on Global Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NYC. She then received her MD at St. Georges University School of Medicine in 2017. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at NYMC/St Josephs Health in 2020 and then joined the section of Yale Rheumatology for her fellowship training in July 2020.