A photo of Ekemini Ogbu.

Ekemini A. Ogbu, MD, MSc

  • Director, Neuroinflammatory Disease Services in Rheumatology
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University
“I strive to provide compassionate care. My philosophy is to 'treat the child with a disease', and not focus on treating the disease alone. Having a rare disease is often isolating and challenging. I believe children and families should be supported through their journey.”
Ekemini A. Ogbu, MD, MSc



I’m a board-certified pediatric rheumatologist and physician-scientist specializing in rheumatologic autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions in children. I am an assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s within the University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics. In this role, I serve as the rheumatology lead for the Cincinnati Children’s Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center. Before joining the faculty at Cincinnati Children’s in 2021, I led the pediatric rheumatology clinics and service at Johns Hopkins University and directed the multidisciplinary pediatric lupus clinic.

I strive to provide compassionate care. My philosophy is to “treat the child with a disease” and not focus on treating the disease alone. Having a rare disease is often isolating and challenging. I believe children and families should be supported through their journey. By providing a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to managing my patients, I aim to achieve the best possible outcomes. I believe in partnering with my patients and families and the primary care provider.

My research includes clinical and translational studies to improve outcomes for childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE). In particular, I am studying how we can identify cSLE early and predict risks of severe outcomes. I also study how lupus affects the brain and nervous system, and its association with blood disorders such as antiphospholipid syndrome.

Throughout my career, I have been honored to receive several academic awards and recognitions. I was recognized as a Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine in 2020.

I currently serve on the Pediatric Rheumatology Special Committee of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). I am the co-chair of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Pediatric Residents Program. I serve on the advisory council of the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group (PRCSG).

I am a member of the Clinical Immunology Society, Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance, Pediatric Rheumatology European Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Women Association.

MD: University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, 2005.

Residency: Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

Chief Resident: Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

Fellowship: Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Master of Science in Clinical Research: Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Certification: General Pediatrics; Pediatric Rheumatology.


Systemic lupus erythematosus; vasculitis; Kikuchi-Fujimoto’s disease; juvenile dermatomyositis; autoinflammatory disorders; systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis; macrophage activation syndrome; complex primary immune deficiencies and immune-dysregulation syndromes that overlap with rheumatologic diseases

Services and Specialties

Rheumatology, Lupus Center


Pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus - neuropsychiatric lupus; autoimmune cytopenias; antiphospholipid syndrome

Research Areas


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Cognitive dysfunction in pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus: current knowledge and future directions. Kammeyer, R; Ogbu, EA; Cooper, JC; Stolz, E; Piquet, AL; Fuhlbrigge, RC; Bennett, JL; Hutaff-Lee, C. Child Neuropsychology. 2023; ahead-of-print:1-29.

An unusual presentation of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis involving bones of the skull. Stojkic, I; Rubin, E; Lee, J; Lee, AS E; Ogbu, EA. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. 2023; 26:1579-1581.

Usefulness of the lupus low disease activity state as a treatment target in childhood-onset SLE. Cody, EM; Wilson, BE; Ogbu, EA; Huggins, JL; Chen, C; Qiu, T; Ting, TV; Flores, F; Huang, B; Brunner, HI. Lupus Science and Medicine. 2023; 10:e000884.

Clinical Determinants of Childhood Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus among Early and Peri-Adolescent Age Groups. Nelson, MC; Chandrakasan, S; Ponder, L; Sanz, I; Goldberg, B; Ogbu, EA; Rouster-Stevens, K; Prahalad, S. Children. 2022; 9:1865.

Prolonged Hospitalization in a Pediatric Patient With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) and Human Rhino-Enterovirus Infection: A Case Report. Lee, AS E; Stojkic, I; Ogbu, EA. Cureus. 2022; 14:e29380.

Treatment Guidelines in Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases. Ogbu, EA; Brunner, HI. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2022; 48:725-746.

International Consensus for the Dosing of Corticosteroids in Childhood-Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus With Proliferative Lupus Nephritis. Chalhoub, NE; Wenderfer, SE; Levy, DM; Rouster-Stevens, K; Aggarwal, A; Savani, SI; Ruth, NM; Arkachaisri, T; Qiu, T; Merritt, A; et al. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 2022; 74:263-273.

Principles of pediatric lupus nephritis in a prospective contemporary multi-center cohort. Vazzana, KM; Daga, A; Goilav, B; Ogbu, EA; Okamura, DM; Park, C; Sadun, RE; Smitherman, EA; Stotter, BR; Dasgupta, A; et al. Lupus. 2021; 30:1660-1670.

Lupus Mesenteric Vasculitis: A Rare Initial Presentation of Pediatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Ogbu, EA; Rouster-Stevens, K; Vega-Fernandez, P. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: practical reports on rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease. 2021; 27:e181-e182.

Impact of autoimmune cytopenias on severity of childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus: A single-center retrospective cohort study. Ogbu, EA; Chandrakasan, S; Rouster-Stevens, K; Greenbaum, LA; Sanz, I; Gillespie, SE; Marion, C; Okeson, K; Prahalad, S. Lupus. 2021; 30:109-117.

From the Blog

Ogbu Receives Diversity in Lupus Research Award
Autoimmune Disorders

Ogbu Receives Diversity in Lupus Research Award

Ekemini A. Ogbu, MD, MSc7/12/2023

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