- Associate Professor of Medicine
Dr. Laura C. Cappelli is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, and a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Dr. Cappelli received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins. She also obtained an MHS in Clinical Investigation from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She joined the faculty in 2016.
Her main research focus is adverse effects of cancer immunotherapy. In 2016, Dr. Cappelli started a research program to evaluate the rheumatologic adverse effects of cancer immunotherapy. Immune checkpoint inhibitors work to boost patients’ own immune systems to fight their cancer. However, they can also lead to excess inflammation in the body that damages non-tumor tissue, termed immune-related adverse events. Rheumatologists are seeing patients with inflammatory arthritis, immune-mediated dry mouth and eyes, myositis, vasculitis, and other immune related adverse events due to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Dr. Cappelli investigates several different aspects of these adverse events including the clinical characteristics, epidemiology, impact on patients, and underlying biologic mechanisms. Her work involves collaborations with oncologists and laboratory investigators. Johns Hopkins also leads a consortium of 9 academic rheumatology centers called RADIOS who collaborate to study rheumatic immune related adverse events. Along with Dr. Aliyah Pabani in Oncology, Dr. Cappelli co-chairs the Johns Hopkins Immune-Related Toxicity Team, a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving the management of immune related adverse events.
Additionally, Dr. Cappelli focuses on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). She has worked on development of evidence-based recommendations for RA monitoring and management with the American College of Rheumatology. She also collaborates with laboratory investigators to study the use of specific autoantibodies as biomarkers in RA.