Jill P. Buyon, M.D. appointed Director, Division of Rheumatology

After a national search, Jill P. Buyon, MD, has been appointed director of the Division of Rheumatology. Dr. Buyon is currently a professor of medicine at the School of Medicine and director of the Lupus Center. She is only the third Rheumatology Division director since 1974, succeeding Gerald Weissmann, MD, and Steven B. Abramson, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine and senior vice president and vice dean for education, faculty and academic affairs.

An internationally recognized rheumatologist and leading translational physician investigator, Dr. Buyon is the recipient of an NIH Merit award, and has been continuously NIH funded since 1994, focusing on bench to bedside studies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In that same year she established, in cooperation with the NIH, the U.S. Research Registry for Neonatal Lupus, which currently comprises the largest database in the world on this rare disease. Her laboratory work centers on defining the mechanism by which autoantibodies result in congenital heart block in the developing fetus and organ injury in adults with SLE. In addition, Dr. Buyon brings expertise in clinical trials and biorepositories, and has made paradigm-changing observations in managing the reproductive health of women with SLE. She has developed assessment tools to define disease activity and flare in SLE, one of which has assumed worldwide use in registrational clinical trials. The guidelines she developed for the management of mothers with anti-SSA/Ro antibodies have been adapted in most pediatric cardiology practices worldwide.

Dr. Buyon has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed science journals, co-authored a book on autoimmune diseases in women, and was editor of the fifth edition of the comprehensive reference textbook Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. After earning her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Buyon completed her fellowship in rheumatology at NYU Langone and postdoctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Joint Diseases. In 1985, she founded the HJD Lupus Clinic. Dr. Buyon is a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and for many years has organized its annual Lupus Study Group. She was elected to the American Association of Physicians in 2008. She has served on numerous NIH grant review panels, review committees for the Alliance for Lupus Research and the Lupus Research Institute, and an FDA advisory committee. Her honors include Alpha Omega Alpha and the Fabian Award for Excellence in Research. She also received a Kirkland Scholar Award, a Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology, and the Evelyn V. Hess Lifetime Achievement Award for Research in Lupus from the Lupus Foundation of America.

In Dr. Buyon, we have a leader of tremendous accomplishments—a gifted physician, scientist, teacher and mentor.