As a pediatric rheumatologist and researcher, I specialize in treating autoinflammatory disorders, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), systemic JIA, and complications of systemic JIA such as macrophage activation syndrome and lung disease.

I've always enjoyed working with children and families. I find the passion of parents inspiring and love the energy, humor and honesty of kids. I was drawn to rheumatology because we are asked hard questions, such as how to solve disease puzzles and how to find the best treatments. I also enjoy the long-term relationships with families and patients.

My interest in how the immune system works and how it fails led me to my research. My graduate work was in microbiology and how highly virulent microbes subvert the host immune system. In rheumatic diseases the immune system has become dysregulated to overreact or attack the body itself.

Broadly, I am interested in autoinflammation — how the body’s first line of defense becomes dysregulated in inflammatory diseases. More specifically, my principle interest is in the complications of systemic JIA such as macrophage activation syndrome and systemic JIA-associated lung disease.

My colleagues and I are trying to determine what causes severe complications of autoinflammatory disorders such as systemic JIA, how do we best treat and control hyperinflammation and how can we use novel biomarkers and genomics to direct our treatments.

I was extremely honored in 2018 to receive the Gold Medal Suzanne Dehoche Prize from the Kourir Association, a French organization for families of children with JIA. They present this prize to researchers whose work is most likely to lead to new treatments for juvenile arthritis. This was an amazing recognition of what we hope to do: Use genomics techniques to accelerate treatments.

MD: University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, 2009.

PhD: University of Iowa Department of Microbiology, Iowa City, IA, 2009.

Residency: Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

Fellowship: Pediatric Rheumatology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Certification: Pediatrics, 2012; Pediatric Rheumatology, 2017.


Pediatric rheumatology; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; macrophage activation syndrome; autoinflammatory syndromes; periodic fevers

Services and Specialties

Rheumatology, Lupus, Rare Lung Diseases


Systemic JIA; macrophage activation syndrome; innate immunity; monocyte and macrophage functions; whole exome sequencing

Research Areas


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Disease Course, Treatments, and Outcomes of Children With Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis-Associated Lung Disease. Huang, Y; Sompii-Montgomery, L; Patti, J; Pickering, A; Yasin, S; Do, T; Baker, E; Gao, D; Abdul-Aziz, R; Behrens, EM; Ting, T; Grom, AA; Towe, C; Schulert, GS. Arthritis Care and Research. 2024; 76:328-339.

The 4th NextGen therapies for SJIA and MAS: part 2 phenotypes of refractory SJIA and the landscape for clinical trials in refractory SJIA. Schulert, G; Vastert, SJ; Grom, AA. Pediatric Rheumatology Online Journal. 2024; 21:87.

Part 5: Allogeneic HSCT in refractory SJIA with lung disease; recent cases from centers in North America & Europe. Grom, AA; Canna, SW; Abu-Arja, RF; Sinha, R; Peixoto, L; Cannizzaro, E; Chandrakasan, S; Driest, K; Marsh, R; Neven, B; Schulert, G; Silva, JM F; Wall, D; Zeilhofer, U. Pediatric Rheumatology Online Journal. 2024; 21:86.

Recombinant Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Is an Effective First-Line Treatment Strategy in New-Onset Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Irrespective of HLA-DRB1 Background and IL1RN Variants. Erkens, RG A; Calis, JJ A; Verwoerd, A; De Roock, S; Ter Haar, NM; Den Engelsman, G; Van der Veken, LT; Ernst, RF; Van Deutekom, HW M; Pickering, A; Schulert, GS; Grom, AA; Van Loosdregt, J; Vastert, SJ. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 2024; 76:119-129.

Neutrophils extracellular traps formation may serve as a biomarker for disease activity in oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a pilot study. Heshin-Bekenstein, M; Baron, S; Schulert, G; Shusterman, A; Fidel, V; Ben-Shahar, Y; Shukrun, R; Binenbaum, Y; Elhasid, R. Arthritis Research and Therapy. 2023; 25:135.

Mouse models of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis and macrophage activation syndrome. Inoue, N; Schulert, GS. Arthritis Research and Therapy. 2023; 25:48.

Spectrum of severity of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children: an EHR-based cohort study from the RECOVER program. Rao, S; Jing, N; Liu, X; Lorman, V; Maltenfort, M; Schuchard, J; Wu, Q; Tong, J; Razzaghi, H; Mejias, A; Christakis, DA; Bailey, LC; Forrest, CB; Chen, Y. Scientific Reports. 2023; 13:21005.

Population-level single-cell genomics reveals conserved gene programs in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Verweyen, EL; Thakkar, K; Dhakal, S; Baker, E; Chetal, K; Schnell, D; Canna, S; Grom, AA; Salomonis, N; Schulert, GS. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2023; 133:e166741.

Health Equity Implications of Missing Data Among Youths With Childhood-Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Proof-of-Concept Study in the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance Registry. Woo, JM P; Simmonds, F; Dennos, A; Son, MB F; Lewandowski, LB; Rubinstein, TB; Abel, N; Abulaban, K; Adams, A; Adams, M; Dempsey, V; DeSantis, E; Dickson, T; Dingle, J. Arthritis Care and Research. 2023; 75:2285-2294.

Diagnosis and Management of the Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Patient with Emerging Lung Disease. Towe, C; Grom, AA; Schulert, GS. Pediatric Drugs. 2023; 25:649-658.

From the Blog

Aggressive Screening Needed to Detect sJIA Lung Complication
Autoimmune Disorders

Aggressive Screening Needed to Detect sJIA Lung Complication

Grant Schulert, MD, PhD, Alexei A. Grom, MD10/29/2019

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