Teresa Tarrant, MD


Awards & Involvement
  • Accepted into ACCLAIM program
  • Rheumatology Research Foundation Targeted Research Task Force
  • Rheumatology Research Foundation Scientific Advisory Council
  • BA, Dartmouth College, 1989-1993
  • MD, Howard Hughes Research Scholar, NIH National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD 1995-1997
  • MD, University of Florida at Gainesville, 1993-1999
  • Residency, Duke University Medical Center, 1999-2001
  • Fellowship in Rheumatology, Duke University Medical Center, 2001-2005
  • Fellowship in Allergy and Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, 2002-2005
Research Interests
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • sjogren's Syndrome
  • Leukocyte migration in inflammation
  • G Protein Coupled signaling
  • Novel imaging for rheumatoid arthritis
Research Summary

Leukocyte migration to the joint is a critical step in the disease pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Autoreactive inflammatory cells leave the circulation and are honed to their immunologic target through a process called chemotaxis. One of my research interests focuses on the regulation of chemokine receptors (in particular, CXCR4, CX3CR1 and CCR2), and downstream G-protein coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) and Regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) as they pertain to leukocyte migration and the development of inflammatory arthritis. Understanding and manipulating autoreactive inflammatory cell migration could lead to novel therapies for patients with RA

A challenge for research and treatment of RA is the inability to specifically, but noninvasively, characterize inflammatory events within the joint. Because cellular and molecular events long precede anatomic abnormalities, detection beyond the scope of conventional imaging is required to recognize disease earlier and design more targeted biologic therapies.

The second focus of my research is to develop novel imaging techniques that can detect cellular and/or vascular changes in inflammatory arthritis with enhanced sensitivity and specificity. Our strategies currently under investigation include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using novel contrast agents aimed at cellular and molecular pathways in small animal models of inflammatory arthritis.

Publications in PubMed