Saira Z. Sheikh, MD
Linda Coley Sewell Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic
Director, Clinical Trials Program at UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center
Areas of Interest
Diagnosis and management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE / Lupus), Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and urticaria (hives).
Dr. Saira Sheikh is trained, and board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Allergy/Immunology. She is the Linda Coley Sewell Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UNC. She is the Director of the Clinical Trials Program at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, as well as the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic. Her work focuses on answering scientific questions that directly impact the care of patients with complex immunologic diseases, such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome. She is Principal Investigator on numerous clinical trials for new therapeutics, and leads translational projects focused on understanding the development of prognostic markers for autoimmune disease. She has received NIH funding in collaboration with a local biotech company to commercialize the development of novel cell based assays to diagnose and track autoimmune diseases. Using cutting-edge insights in immunology, her team strives to better understand and treat autoimmune diseases. She is leading national initiatives to develop real-world, practical models to promote inclusion of patients of racial and ethnic minorities in lupus clinical trials, particularly using technology-based applications. In April 2019, she was invited to speak at the National Academy of Sciences to share her work focused on health literacy in clinical trials (https://doi.org/10.17226/25616). Dr. Sheikh is the Vice-Chair of the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN), which is largest lupus clinical trials network of academic centers in the United States and Canada (https://lupustherapeutics.org/about/). She recently completed a 3-year term on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting Planning Committee and has served as Co-Chair of the ACR’s Annual Review Course. She is actively involved in the education of patients, medical students, residents, and sub-specialty fellows. Dr. Sheikh is a skilled physician, researcher, and educator. She has an outstanding reputation for her expertise amongst patients and colleagues across the institution and nationally and patients travel from all 100 North Carolina counties and from around the country to see her in clinic. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (FAAAAI), the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (FACAAI) and of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). She also serves on the Medical-Scientific Advisory Council for the Lupus Foundation of America.
King Edward Medical University
University of Arizona
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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