Introducing Dr. Cailin Sibley

Introducing Dr. Cailin Sibley

Introducing Dr. Cailin Sibley

January 2014: The Oregon Health & Science University Vasculitis Center, OHSU Physician’s Pavilion, Portland, Oregon

Cailin Sibley is the director of the new Oregon Health & Science University Vasculitis Center, the
only dedicated vasculitis center in the Pacific Northwest. The center will take a multidisciplinary
approach to diagnosing, treating and researching vasculitis.

“We provide comprehensive sub-specialty clinical care by rheumatologists, and also have
dermatology, nephrology, neurology, otolaryngology, pulmonology, cardiology and other services
available when appropriate,” Sibley explains. “We are actively growing our center and are happy to
see patients either as their primary specialty physicians or for second opinions. If appropriate,
we also have the ability to offer new therapies available only by clinical trials. We network with
both national and international specialists to make sure that patients get the best clinical care

Using a prevalence estimate of 30 per 100,000 and a state population of 3,900,000, there are
approximately 1,200 patients with vasculitis in Oregon, but the Center will likely see many
patients from neighboring California and Washington State. It already has some patients from as far
away as the East Coast.

The Center will have a strong research agenda, as well. “We are in the process of joining the
Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium and will be participating in clinical studies and trials
through their efforts,” Sibley continues. “Our initial research interests are in understanding if
and how bacteria may trigger disease as well as in using non-invasive imaging methods such as MRI
and CT scans to monitor disease. Patients will have the opportunity to participate in research
studies to better understand the mechanisms of disease.”

Patients can call the clinic to make an appointment. Physicians Pavilion, 4th floor
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road Portland, OR 97239

About Dr. Sibley
Originally from Northern California, Cailin Sibley did her residency and fellowship at UC-San
Francisco. She moved to the National Institutes of Health to pursue a master’s in health sciences
and to study Behçet’s disease, Still’s disease and another autoinflammatory genetic disease, NOMID.
Sibley and her colleagues built a cohort of patients with Behçet’s disease to better understand its
causes and to identify new treatment options.

“Behçet’s disease is a mysterious illness where there are no known laboratory tests to help with
the diagnosis, no known antibodies that cause disease and no known specific inflammatory cells that
cause disease however patients still get generalized inflammation of unclear etiology,” she

explains. “We were interested in better understanding whether disease may have been caused by
a process known as autoinflammation rather than autoimmunity which is more common in rheumatologic
diseases. At the NIH, colleagues and I tested the role of IL-1 which is known to be important in
the development of autoinflammation by treating patients with anakinra, an IL-1 blocking

In September 2013, she moved to the Oregon Health & Science University to expand her clinical
practice and move closer to family.

“I always found working with patients with multi-organ disease the most intellectually interesting
and rewarding,” she explains. “It’s extremely satisfying to improve a sick patient’s health and
quality of life. While great advances have been made in rheumatology, we have relatively fewer well
controlled clinical trials to guide treatment decisions in vasculitis as well as fewer treatment
options. Over the next 20 years I expect this to change and it will be exciting to
take part in these advancements.”