The Yale Rheumatology Translational Research Laboratory (RTRL) is led by Dr. Monique Hinchcliff, MD, MS, who is the Director of Clinical and Translational Research for the Section of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at the Yale School of Medicine and the Director of the Yale Scleroderma Program. The research program aims to bridge the gap between cutting-edge benchtop research and the clinic where patients with rheumatic diseases receive care. The overarching goal is to identify new and repurposed treatments for patients with rheumatic diseases, such as scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus and myositis.
Scleroderma or systemic sclerosis (SSc) is the connective tissue disease with the highest case fatality rate. It is characterized by production of autoantibodies, vascular changes and inflammation that culminate in the overproduction of collagen and organ dysfunction. Patients can develop progressive fibrosis (scar tissue formation) in skin, lungs, heart, and other organs. While treatments are available to address some symptoms of SSc, there is no cure, prompting the necessity for novel therapies and diagnostics.
Dr. Hinchcliff’s research focus is to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of SSc using human tissue, animal models, computer and data science with the goal of better understanding systemic sclerosis. More broadly, Dr. Hinchcliff and her research team support patient-focused studies within the Yale School of Medicine Section of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology to foster collaboration with other Yale School of Medicine sections, departments, and centers.