Dr. Sikora is a board certified pediatric rheumatologist who joined the National Institutes of Health as a Henry Metzger Scholar in Translational Research after successfully completing his fellowship in pediatric rheumatology. He currently devotes his time in studying the pathogenesis of pediatric inflammatory disease, including juvenile arthritis and relapsing polychondritis.
The goal of the Juvenile Arthritis Pathogenesis Unit is to understand the mechanisms that underlie the development of inflammatory arthritis and cartilage inflammation in children. Advances in genetics have identified many common variants that each contribute a small amount to the overall risk of developing juvenile arthritis. We are studying severe, early-onset arthritis in children to learn more about the role of rare, highly penetrant variants to understand disease mechanisms that will inform individualized treatment approaches. We are currently exploring the role of the toll-like receptor signaling pathway, including MyD88, in the development of childhood arthritis. In addition, we are interested in pathogenic mechanisms underlying the development of relapsing polychondritis (RP), a systemic inflammatory disease of cartilage that can present with joint involvement.