William F.C. Rigby, MD
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Microbiology and Immunology
Harvard Medical School, MD 1979
Columbia University, BA 1974
After postdoctoral work in Dr. Michael Fanger's laboratory in the Department of Microbiology at Dartmouth Medical School, Dr. Rigby completed subspecialty training in rheumatology and joined the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School in 1987.
Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth
Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Borwell Research Bldg. - HB 7510
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon NH 03756
Dr. Rigby's laboratory integrates his basic scientific and clinical interests. On a translational level, Dr. Rigby is examining the changes that accompany clinical responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with biologics. His basic scientific efforts examine the mechanism by which CD40 ligand (CD154) and cytokine expression are regulated at post-transcriptional levels. Many cytokines are encoded by mRNA that contain reiterated AUUUA sequences in their 3' UTR. These AU-rich sequences (AURE) have been shown to modulate the translation as well as rapid degradation of these mRNA. His laboratory has been active in identifying proteins that bind to AURE and regulate these events. Of late, he has studied the regulation of CD154 (CD40 ligand), a member of the TNF gene family that plays a critical role in the immune response. In contrast to cytokine genes, CD154 is regulated by its rate of cytoplasmic mRNA turnover and translation. The CD154 3'UTR mRNA contains two separate cis-acting elements, the cytidine-uridine (CU)- and cytidine-adenine (CA)-rich elements that respectively regulate these two activities. Interestingly the CA rich element is polymorphic in the human; certain polymorphisms have been associated with the development of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
These findings have prompted Dr. Rigby to begin translational studies of patients with rheumatologic disease to determine if: a) CD154 dysregulation is present; b) Is this dysregulation influenced by disease activity; c) Does this dysregulation correlate with CA-repeat polymorphisms? In this manner, Dr. Rigby will begin to address epigenetic and genetic factors that regulate the expression of this critical immunoregulatory molecule.
Tocilizumab combination therapy or monotherapy or methotrexate monotherapy in methotrexate-naive patients with early rheumatoid arthritis: 2-year clinical and radiographic results from the randomised, placebo-controlled FUNCTION trial.
Anti-Carbamylated Protein Antibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Are Reactive With Specific Epitopes of the Human Fibrinogen β-Chain.
Persistence of Disease-Associated Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibody-Expressing Memory B Cells in Rheumatoid Arthritis in Clinical Remission.
Effect of tocilizumab on neutrophils in adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis: pooled analysis of data from phase 3 and 4 clinical trials.
The role for neutrophil extracellular traps in cystic fibrosis autoimmunity.
Rituximab associated late-onset neutropenia-a rheumatology case series and review of the literature.
Anti-carbamylated Protein Antibody Levels Correlate with Anti-Sa (Citrullinated Vimentin) Antibody Levels in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Tocilizumab in early progressive rheumatoid arthritis: FUNCTION, a randomised controlled trial.
Efficacy and safety of tabalumab, an anti-B-cell-activating factor monoclonal antibody, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had an inadequate response to methotrexate therapy: results from a phase III multicentre, randomised, double-blind study.
Reply: To PMID 24719284.