Dr. Laura C. Cappelli is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, and a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. 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 main research focus is 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 immune checkpoint inhibitors. Dr. Cappelli investigates several different aspects of these adverse events including the clinical characteristics, epidemiology, impact on patients, and underlying biologic mechanisms. Her work involves collaborations with oncologists and laboratory investigators in rheumatology and oncology. Along with Dr. Jarushka Naidoo, Dr. Cappelli co-chairs the Immune Related Toxicity Team at Johns Hopkins, a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving the management of immune related adverse events.
Additionally, Dr. Cappelli studies rheumatoid arthritis (RA). She has worked on development of evidence-based recommendations for RA monitoring and management with the American College of Rheumatology. She also collaborates with laboratory investigators to study the use of specific autoantibodies as biomarkers in RA.