Meet our future clinicians, educators and researchers.
Bhargavi Duvvuri, PhD, CCRA
Education: Osmania University, India, B.Sc., Osmania University, India, M.Sc., York University, Canada, Ph.D., McMaster University, Canada, CCRA
Biography: Dr. Bhargavi Duvvuri was born and brought up in India. Dr. Duvvuri’s research focus is to elucidate the mechanistic basis of autoimmune rheumatic diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile dermatomyositis with an overall aim to discover targets for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Dr. Duvvuri studies mitochondria and mutated -self-proteins towards this goal. Dr. Duvvuri takes an interdisciplinary approach, that includes experimental immunology, in silico epitope discovery, and machine learning approaches. Dr. Duvvuri made a pioneering discovery that peptides from altered mitochondria are immunogenic, and such T-cellular immune surveillance plays a role in preventing malignancies, and in contrast leading to autoimmunity. In addition to mitochondrial research, Dr. Duvvuri developed an epitope discovery pipeline to identify and validate immunogenic citrullinated T cell epitopes from human proteins. In the Lood lab at Division of Rheumatology, Dr. Duvvuri investigates the fundamental mechanisms of mitochondrial-mediated inflammation and autoimmunity identifying novel biomarkers for monitoring of patients, as well as therapeutic targets limiting antigenic and inflammatory properties of mitochondria.
Bhanupriya Madarampali, PhD
Education: Sri Venkateswara University, India, International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) UN organization, India
Biography: Dr. Madarampalli completed her Masters, Ph.D and Post-doctoral research training from India After moving to United States; she restarted her research career volunteering in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2012. Subsequently, she moved to full time research positions in Cell- biology and Rheumatoid arthritis in Washington State University. In 2017, Dr. Madarampalli joined the division as post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Noss to bring together her expertise in cell biology and RA pathogenesis to better understand how synovial fibroblasts contribute to joint diseases. She is currently working on T-32 funded project on how platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) signaling in synovial fibroblasts may be targeted to treat arthritis, keeping with her long-term goal to look for novel therapies to treat autoimmune diseases.
Sladjana Skopelja-Gardner , PhD
Biography: Dr. Skopelja-Gardner was born in Montenegro. Having finished final two years of high school at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy, she moved to the United States, where she obtained a B.A. in Biochemistry at Dartmouth College. After a year as a research associate in the biotech company Celdara Medical, she joined Dr. William Rigby’s lab at Dartmouth in pursuit of a PhD degree in Immunology. Her published thesis work addressed two distinct translational questions: i) the development of autoimmunity in chronic lung infection in cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis and ii) the effector functions of monoclonal antibody therapies in B cell malignancies. Since joining the Elkon lab in July 2017, Dr. Skopelja-Gardner has been investigating the pathogenic mechanisms of skin and kidney disease in lupus. One of her studies explores the mechanisms of kidney injury in low complement states, using novel disease models developed in the Elkon lab. In a separate study, Dr. Skopelja-Gardner investigates the immunologic link between skin sensitivity to ultraviolet light and systemic disease manifestations in lupus. As part of this effort, she will be implementing state of the art single cell technology to elucidate the skin response to UV light in healthy individuals and lupus patients.
Ting Wang , MD, PhD
Biography: Dr. Wang was born and raised in Hebei, China. She attended medical school at University of Hebei in 2008. She completed her Ph.D. training in rheumatology in Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2016, she was awarded a fellowship by China Scholarship Council, which allowed her to pursue a one-year research project at the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Washington under the mentorship of Dr. Keith Elkon and Dr. Natalia Giltiay. Through this training, she developed interest in mechanisms underlying the development of pathogenic autoreactive B cells in autoimmune disease and decided to pursue further training in translational research in rheumatology. In 2019, she joined the Department of Rheumatology as a senior fellow to pursue post-doctoral training in Dr. Giltiay’s Lab. Her current research interest is developing effective biomarkers that are predictive of treatment response of Abatacept in RA.