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William F.C. Rigby, M.D.

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.

Immunology Program
Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth
Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine

NIH Biosketch:


Contact Information:

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Borwell Research Bldg. - HB 7510
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon NH 03756

Phone: 603-650-7700
Fax: 603-650-6223
Email: William.Rigby@Dartmouth.EDU

Assistant: Linda Jarvis
Asst. Phone: 603-650-7700
Asst. Email: Jill.L.Goodwillie@Hitchcock.ORG

Professional Interests:

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.

Selected Publications:


Mecchella J, Rigby W, Zbehlik A
Reply to Letter to the editor.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2014 Dec 2;
PMID: 25470457

Jones JD, Hamilton BJ, Skopelja S, Rigby WF
Induction of interleukin-6 production by rituximab in human B cells.
Arthritis Rheumatol 2014 Nov; 66(11):2938-46
PMID: 25080282

Mecchella JN, Rigby WF, Zbehlik AJ
Pancytopenia and cough in a man with amyopathic dermatomyositis.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2014 Oct; 66(10):1587-90
PMID: 24719284

Gordon H, Ajamian L, Valiente-Echeverria F, Levesque K, Rigby WF, Mouland AJ
Depletion of hnRNP A2/B1 overrides the nuclear retention of the HIV-1 genomic RNA.
RNA Biol 2013 Nov; 10(11):1714-25
PMID: 24157614

Rigby WF, Mease PJ, Olech E, Ashby M, Tole S
Safety of rituximab in combination with other biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in rheumatoid arthritis: an open-label study.
J Rheumatol 2013 May; 40(5):599-604
PMID: 23547218

Jones JD, Hamilton BJ, Rigby WF
Rituximab mediates loss of CD19 on B cells in the absence of cell death.
Arthritis Rheum 2012 Oct; 64(10):3111-8
PMID: 22674374

Jones JD, Albert DA, Thadani V, Rigby WF
Unusual case of a swollen painful toe in a young man.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2012 Feb; 64(2):298-302
PMID: 22278969

Rigby WF, Wu YL, Zan M, Zhou B, Rosengren S, Carlson C, Hilton W, Yu CY
Increased frequency of complement C4B deficiency in rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis Rheum 2012 May; 64(5):1338-44
PMID: 22076784

Rigby W, Ferraccioli G, Greenwald M, Zazueta-Montiel B, Fleischmann R, Wassenberg S, Ogale S, Armstrong G, Jahreis A, Burke L, Mela C, Chen A
Effect of rituximab on physical function and quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis previously untreated with methotrexate.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2011 May; 63(5):711-20
PMID: 21557525

Nichols RC, Botson J, Wang XW, Hamilton BJ, Collins JE, Uribe V, Brooks SA, Zan M, Rigby WF
A flexible approach to studying post-transcriptional gene regulation in stably transfected mammalian cells.
Mol Biotechnol 2011 Jul; 48(3):210-7
PMID: 21153715