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Livia A. Casciola-Rosen, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Livia A. Casciola-Rosen, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Medicine

Research Interests

rheumatic autoimmune diseases; autoantibodies; myositis; scleroderma; sjogren's syndrome


Dr Casciola-Rosen graduated from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) with a doctoral degree in medical biochemistry. She then pursued postdoctoral training in Cell Biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She initially joined the faculty in the Department of Dermatology at Johns Hopkins, and subsequently became a faculty member in Rheumatology.  She is currently a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. more


  • Professor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions



  • Ph.D., University of Cape Town - Fac of Medicine - Cape Town - So Africa (South Africa) (1987)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Casciola-Rosen’s research has focused on the shared mechanisms underlying the autoimmune rheumatic diseases, particularly myositis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and scleroderma. Dr. Casciola-Rosen has collaborated closely with Dr. Rosen, using disease-specific autoantibodies as probes to define the events that initiate and drive the autoimmune response in the rheumatic diseases. Dr. Casciola-Rosen also runs the Bioassay Core within the rheumatic diseases research core center, which provides a variety of immune assays to investigators studying the mechanisms of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases


Dr. Casciola-Rosen’s laboratory currently focuses on several important areas: (i) Defining the cells in vivo which express the highest concentrations of autoantigens targeted in specific phenotypes, and demonstrating that these cells are the targets of immune attack. In myositis, muscle progenitors appear to be the cells which express the antigens targeted in this syndrome, and therefore are the primary target of ongoing attack in this disease. Studies defining these targets in other autoimmune diseases are currently in progress. (ii) Understanding the autoantigens targeted in cancers associated with rheumatic diseases, and elucidating the underlying mechanisms.   (iii)  Identifying novel clinical biomarkers, such as the recently described anti-HMGCR antibody specificity (for which there is now a clinical assay).

Technology Expertise Keywords

Autoantibody assays, immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, biomarkers, cell biology

Selected Publications

Casciola-Rosen LA, Anhalt GJ and Rosen A. Autoantigens targeted in systemic lupus erythematosus are clustered in two populations of surface structures on apoptotic keratinocyres. J. Exp. Med. (1994) 179: 1317-1330. PMID: 7511686 (Comment in J. Exp. Med. (1994) 179: 1083-1086; cited in Nature Immunology Autoimmunity Web Focus – Classics, 2001). PMCID: PMC2191465

Casciola-Rosen LA, Andrade F, Ulanet D, Wong WB and Rosen A. Cleavage by granzyme B is strongly predictive of autoantigen status: implications for initiation of autoimmunity. J. Exp. Med. (1999) 190: 815-826. PMCID: PMC2195625.

Casciola-Rosen L, Nagaraju K, Plotz P, Wang K, Levine S, Gabrielson E, Corse A and Rosen A. Enhanced autoantigen expression in regenerating muscle cells in idiopathic inflammatory myopathy. J. Exp. Med. (2005) 201: 591-601 (see also comment on pg 487 of the same issue). PMCID: PMC2213068.

Shah AA, Rosen A, Hummers L, Wigley F and Casciola-Rosen L. Close temporal relationship between onset of cancer and scleroderma in patients with RNA polymerase I/III antibodies. Arth & Rheum (2010) 62: 2787-95.

Mammen AL, Chung T, Christopher-Stine L, Rosen P, Rosen A, Doering KR and Casciola-Rosen LA. Autoantibodies against 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A resductase in patients with statin-associated autoimmune myopathy. Arth Rheum (2011) 63: 713-721. PMID: 21360500 PMCID: PMC3335400

Fiorentino D, Chung L, Zwerner J, Rosen A and Casciola-Rosen L. The mucocutaneous and systemic phenotype of dermatomyositis patients with antibodies to MDA5 (CADM-140): a retrospective study. J. Am. Acad. Derm. (2011) 65: 25-34. PMID: 21531040 PMCID: PMC3167687

Cottrell TR, Hall JC, Rosen A and Casciola-Rosen L. Identification of novel autoantigens by a triangulation approach. J. Immunol. Meth (2012) 385: 35-44. PMID: 22910000

Fiorentino DF, Chung LS, Christopher-Stine L, Zaba L, Li S, Mammen AL, Rosen A and Casciola-Rosen L. Most patients with cancer-associated dermatomyositis have antibodies to nuclear matrix protein NXP-2 or transcription intermediary factor 1γ. Arth Rheum (2013) 65:2954-62.

Fiorentino DF, Presby M, Baer AN, Petri M, Rieger KE, Soloski M, Rosen A, Mammen AL, Christopher-Stine L and Casciola-Rosen L. PUF60: a prominent new target of the autoimmune response in dermatomyositis and Sjögren's syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis (2015, in Press)

Hall JC, Baer AN, Shah AA, Criswell LA, Shiboski CH, Rosen A, and Casciola-Rosen L. Molecular subsetting of interferon pathways in Sjogren's syndrome. Arth Rheum (2015, In Press)

Activities & Honors


  • American Society of Cell Biology
  • American College of Rheumatology
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