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Fayetteville resident ranked as one of the world’s leading experts on immune disorder

— An Upstate Medical University physician-scientist has been ranked as one of the world’s leading experts on sarcoidosis, an immune system disorder by Expertscape, a global online health information database.

Fayetteville resident Michael C. Iannuzzi, MD, MBA, the Edward C Reifenstein Professor and chair of Upstate’s Department of Medicine, ranks third among the world’s top investigators of sarcoidosis, according to Expertscape.

The rankings are determined by a review of all medical journal articles found in the Pubmed.gov database (U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health) over the past decade, and assigns a particular score depending on the article’s publication date; journal’s reputation and whether physician was the lead author.

Iannuzzi’s recent research on sarcoidosis, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is in the genetic epidemiology of sarcoidosis.

In studying sarcoidosis, Iannuzzi’s work has helped scientists better understand the causes of sarcoidosis and how it affects different populations, especially African Americans. Iannuzzi’s current research has identified two possible sarcoidosis genes and is searching for other genetic factors that predispose individuals to the progressive disease.

Sarcoidosis is the inflammation of body tissue, most often lungs, skin, and lymph nodes, although it can affect other parts of the body. The specific cause of the disease is unknown, but it is thought that the onset is caused by a reaction to a foreign substance. While rarely fatal, serious cases of sarcoidosis can result in organ damage and other complications.

Iannuzzi is also known for his work on other pulmonary diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, in which he is recognized with the discovery of a cystic fibrosis gene; he also participated in studies examining the respiratory illnesses suffered by workers and volunteers who participated in the rescue efforts during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

As a clinician, Iannuzzi specializes in the treatment of patients with lung diseases, pulmonary disorders, as well as sarcoidosis.

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