Saira Sheikh, MD LuCIN Vice Chair

Leadership & Board › Saira Sheikh, MD

Dr. Saira Sheikh is trained, and board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Allergy/Immunology. She is the Linda Coley Sewell Distinguished Professor of Medicine Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, the Director of the Clinical Trials Program at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, and the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic. Her work focuses on answering scientific questions that directly impact the care of patients with complex immunologic diseases, such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome. Her projects apply an integrated approach of research, teaching, and clinical practice to advance team science through clinical trials, basic and translational research collaborations, and community-based studies. She is Principal Investigator on numerous clinical trials for new therapeutics, as well as Principal Investigator on translational projects focused on understanding the development of biomarkers in autoimmune disease. She is leading national initiatives to develop real-world, practical models to promote inclusion of minority patients in lupus clinical trials, particularly using technology-based applications. In April 2019, she was invited to speak at the National Academy of Sciences to share her work focused on health literacy in clinical trials.

She recently completed a 3-year term on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting Planning Committee and has served as Co-Chair of the ACR’s Annual Review Course. She is actively involved in the education of patients, medical students, residents, and sub-specialty fellows. Dr. Sheikh is a skilled physician, researcher, and educator. She has an outstanding reputation for her expertise amongst patients and colleagues across the institution and nationally and patients travel from around the country to see her in clinic.

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (FAAAAI), the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (FACAAI) and of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

She also serves on the Medical-Scientific Advisory Council for the Lupus Foundation of America.