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 performed 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 after completing her fellowship.
Her research focuses on inflammatory arthritis and on the effects of cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Cappelli started a research program to evaluate the rheumatologic adverse effects of cancer immunotherapy. New agents, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, work to boost patients’ own immune systems to fight their cancer, leading to great advances in treatment. However, they can also lead to adverse events as a result of their mechanism of action. Rheumatologists are seeing patients with inflammatory arthritis, immune-mediated dry mouth and eyes, myositis, vasculitis and other adverse events due to cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Cappelli is investigating several different aspects of these adverse events including the clinical characteristics, epidemiology, impact on patients, and the biologic mechanisms. Her work involves collaborations with oncologists and laboratory investigators in rheumatology and oncology.
Additionally, Dr. Cappelli studies rheumatoid arthritis. She has focused on defining unique clinical features of patients with seronegative disease, that is, those patients lacking the traditional markers in the blood seen in rheumatoid arthritis. She also collaborates with laboratory investigators to study the use of specific autoantibodies as biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis.