Sarah Gaffen Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

April 28, 2022

Sarah Gaffen, PhDThe Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology congratulates Sarah Gaffen, PhD, on being named to the 2021 class of American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows. 

Dr. Gaffen, the Gerald P. Rodnan Endowed Professor in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, is one of four University of Pittsburgh faculty members to receive this honor. 

To receive this truly historic and honorable designation within the science community, Dr. Gaffen’s research efforts were evaluated through a competitive nominating and vetting process that included a multidisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, and innovators.

Since the opening of The Gaffen Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh in 1999, Dr. Gaffen and her team of researchers have continuously worked to better understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underline cytokine-mediated inflammation, both in preventing infections and promoting autoimmune pathology. 

The main research focus of the Gaffen Lab is IL-17, which is a pro-inflammatory substance produced mainly by T cells and other lymphocytes. Most recently, Dr. Gaffen and her team have discovered how IL-17 activates a wave of cellular signals leading to inflammation in kidney disease and have also elucidated a pathway for aberrant IL-17 activation in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. 

It is believed that findings from the Gaffen Lab could ultimately lead to targeted medications for the growing number of people with autoimmune diseases. 

View a full list of Dr. Gaffen’s research publications on PubMed