Alexei A. Grom, MD

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone: 513-636-3339

Fax: 513-636-3328


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The research of Alexei Grom, MD, has mainly involved two translational projects focused on two autoimmune diseases – systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile dermatomyositis. In both projects, recent advances of cellular immunology are applied to these diseases to promote better understanding of their pathogenesis and treatment.

Systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and an associated condition known as macrophage activation syndrome are severe and often devastating illnesses. The pathological mechanisms are not known but Dr. Alexei Grom has focused his research on NK and cytotoxic cell function in this disease. The rationale for this approach has been based on the strong clinical similarities between MAS and the better understood autosomal recessive disorder familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, in which the uncontrolled proliferation of T cells and macrophages has been recently associated with decreased NK cell and cytotoxic cell functions secondary to mutations in the gene encoding perforin. Recent observations suggest as in FHLH, MAS patients also have profoundly depressed NK function. Moreover, a large subgroup of systemic JRA patients has very similar immunologic abnormalities. Combined with the evidence of the immunoregulatory role of NK cells in many immune responses, this suggests that NK dysfunction is relevant to the pathogenesis of MAS. New directions have thus been established for research in this poorly understood disease.

Juvenile dermatomyositis is a chronic inflammatory condition involving primarily muscles and skin. The most characteristic feature of JDM is vascular damage associated with the capillary necrosis that eventually leads to capillary loss and tissue ischemia. The project is based on the hypothesis that capillary loss in this condition may be caused by angiostatic chemokines that are prominent in the inflammatory response in the affected muscles.

Education and Training

MD: Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Pediatric Medical Institute, Russia, 1986. 

Residency: Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Medical Institute, Russia, 1988; Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1998. 

Fellowship: Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Pediatric Medical Institute, Russia, 1991; Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1995. 

Certification: Pediatrics, 1999.


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