The Inflammatory Disease Section (IDS) studies the genetics and pathophysiology of inherited disorders of inflammation, known as autoinflammatory diseases. The IDS is a leading national and international center for patients with autoinflammatory diseases who are referred for clinical and genetic diagnostic evaluations. The section operates a CLIA-certified molecular diagnostic lab.
The IDS utilizes next-generation genome sequencing technology to identify new disease-causing genes in patients with undiagnosed conditions. Subsequently, genetic findings are verified by functional genomic analysis, including tissue culture, biochemistry, and animal models, to understand the precise mechanisms of inherited inflammatory disease. In this way, the section develops foundations for new and effective therapies. Studies conducted by the IDS are at the forefront of precision medicine in the rheumatic diseases.
Dr. Ivona Aksentijevich obtained her medical degree from Belgrade University in the former Yugoslavia. In 1990 she joined Dr. Daniel Kastner in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) to work as a post-doctoral fellow on the positional cloning of the gene mutated in patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), and later stayed in the same group as a staff scientist. In 2010, she moved with Dr. Kastner to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and continues to study the genetics of monogenic autoinflammatory diseases. Dr. Aksentijevich is certified in clinical molecular genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics, and supervises a CLIA-certified laboratory for autoinflammatory disease diagnostics in the IDS. Her scientific accomplishements are numerous, and include the identification of several genes underlying known autoinflammatory diseases as well as the discovery of multiple previously unknown conditions. She is a past president of the International Society on Systemic Autoinflammatory Diseases (ISSAID.
Last Updated: August 8, 2018