Joel Taurog, M.D.

Joel Taurog, M.D.

  • William M. and Gay Burnett Professorship for Arthritis Research
  • Internal Medicine - Rheumatology


Dr. Taurog has been a faculty member in the Division of Rheumatic Diseases at UT Southwestern since 1986. Since joining the faculty he has served as attending physician in rheumatology and internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital. From 1980 to 1986 he was a faculty member in rheumatology and internal medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. 

The goal of Dr. Taurog's research has been to understand the molecular basis for the association of the rheumatic disease called ankylosing spondylitis with the major histocompatibility allele HLA-B27. This MHC class I allele is found in 7 percent of the U.S. population, but in over 90 percent of individuals with ankylosing spondylitis. Of individuals with B27, it is estimated that up to 13 percent will develop ankylosing spondylitis or a related form of spondyloarthritis. 

Dr. Taurog's efforts largely involve the study of rats transgenic for HLA-B27 and its associated light chain, beta-2-microglobulin. The rats develop a spontaneous arthritis and spondylitis that in many ways mimics the spectrum of the human spondyloarthropathies. 

We have used a variety of cellular, genetic, biochemical and microbiological approaches have been used to try to understand the role of the B27 molecule in the pathogenesis of this experimental disorder.

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Education & Training
  • Residency - Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital (1975-1976), Int. Medicine
  • Internship - Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital (1974-1975), Int. Medicine
  • Fellowship - National Institutes of Health-Research (1976-1980), Immunology/rheumatology
  • Medical School - UT Southwestern Medical Center
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American College of Rheumatology (1980), Fellow
  • American Association of Immunologists (1980), Member
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (1991), Member
Honors & Awards
  • Rheumatologist of the Year 1991, Abstract Rhumato (French Journal)
  • Master of the American College of Rheumatology 2013
  • Carol-Nachman Prize for Rheumatology 1992, State Capital of Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Kroc Lectureship 1993, University of Michigan
  • William M. & Gatha Burnett Professorship for Arthritis Research 1997, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Glenn Clark Lectureship 2008, University of Tennessee, Memphis
Books & Publications
  • Role of HLA-B27 in Spondyloarthritis