Chief Welcome

Qingping Yao, MD, PhD
Division Chief

Welcome to our Website for the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, the Department of Medicine, Stony Brook University, also known as SUNY, Stony Brook, New York. Our Division is staffed by expanding faculty members, including eight rheumatologists, one immunologist/professor, and one allergist/immunologist, and these physicians are housed in both Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) and the VA Hospital at Northport.

Our tripartite missions are patient care, education and research. The goal of patient care is to take advantage of our expertise to provide high quality care for patients. Rheumatologists diagnose and treat a broad range of rheumatic diseases, such as systemic autoimmune, inflammatory, autoinflammatory diseases, as well as other musculoskeletal disorders. We take care of both common and rare rheumatic disorders. For example, we have a unique Multidisciplinary Center, one of the few Centers in the country to care for a recently categorized group of diseases, designated as autoinflammatory diseases or periodic fever syndromes.  These diseases are distinct from systemic autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Typically, these patients do not have blood markers like autoantibodies and often have genetic markers. This group of disorders has undergone a rapid expansion, including but is not limited to familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS), tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) and autoinflammatory disease associated with NOD2. These patients usually have recurrent fever, rash, joint pain, abdominal or chest pain, and these symptoms often pose diagnostic and therapeutic challenges.

Our educational programs and services encompass training rheumatology fellows, medical residents and students.  Our rheumatology fellowship program has existed since its inauguration in 1980s. This is a two-year accredited clinical training program, and two fellows are chosen and enrolled from a pool of applicants each year.  There are four rheumatology fellows currently. The fellows participate in outpatient care and inpatient service in both SBUH and VA Hospital at Northport.  The fellows are provided opportunities to partake in performing clinical, translational or basic research projects. Our fellows have opted to practice in academic, private, and hospital settings after graduation in the past. Our Division has offered live CME educational programs regularly.

Our goal of research is to develop innovative research programs under current internal and extramural funding. Besides a long-standing ongoing research on complements and diseases, we seek more extramural funding to advance research of certain rheumatic diseases. Yao syndrome (OMIM 617321), formerly named NOD2-associated autoinflammatory disease, is a recently reported disease. Since our first description of the disease in 2011, it has been reported in America, Europe and Asia and is not an uncommon disease.  To continue shedding more light into the disease, we have strived to perform an in-depth study of its pathogenic mechanisms and develop effective therapies.  Future funding opportunities, including grants and philanthropic donations, will be instrumental. The Division is also developing other research programs in a collaborative fashion.