Heather Van Mater, MD, was recently named chief of the Division of Rheumatology in the Department of Pediatrics, effective November 1, 2020.
Van Mater joined the Duke faculty in 2009 and is currently an associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Rheumatology, with a particular interest in the central nervous system. Her clinical research is primarily focused on autoimmune brain diseases, where she aims to better understand disease classification and optimal treatment strategies. She has several active projects, including a prospective study with sample collection to look for novel biomarkers of disease activity. She also participates in divisional studies--the largest being the national registry for children with rheumatic disease through the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), as well as industry supported clinical trials.
Van Mater is co-director of the Pediatric Autoimmune Brain Disease (ABD) program where she works closely with colleagues in neurology and psychiatry seeing patients in clinic and co-managing inpatients with autoimmune conditions such as autoimmune encephalitis and Central Nervous System (CNS) vasculitis. She also sees children and adolescents in clinic with more traditional rheumatic diseases and serves as the program director for the Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship program.
"Dr. Van Mater’s impressive strengths as a clinician, researcher, educator and mentor make her the ideal leader for the Division of Rheumatology," says Ann M. Reed, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics. "We are fortunate that she will be serving in this new role in the department."
Van Mater will succeed Egla Rabinovich, MD, who served as co-chief of the Division of Rheumatology from 2004 until 2017 when she assumed the role of chief of the division and will remain on the faculty as a professor of pediatrics.