Dr. Gilkeson is a professor of medicine/microbiology and immunology. He is also the vice chairman of the Department of Medicine for research. He received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University and his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He subsequently completed his internal medicine training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Following four years in the Air Force, he completed a rheumatology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in 1989. He joined the faculty of Duke at that time and achieved the position of associate professor of medicine prior to moving to MUSC in 1996.
Dr. Gilkeson is the author of over 150 publications and has received numerous honors including summa cum laude graduate of Baylor University and was a third-year Alpha Omega Alpha initiate at UT Southwestern. He has served on numerous NIH study sections and journal editorial boards. He has served on the national board of directors for both the Arthritis Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America. He has served on numerous national committees for both the Arthritis Foundation, the American College of Rheumatology and the Research and Education Foundation of the ACR. He is currently chairman of the medical and scientific advisory board for the Lupus Foundation of America. His honors include receiving the MUSC Health Outstanding Clinician Award for 2007, a National Volunteer Service Award from the Arthritis Foundation, and being named one of fifty Arthritis Research Heroes of the Arthritis Foundation.
Dr. Gilkeson's research and clinical interests are both in lupus, particularly lupus nephritis. He also maintains a clinical interest in the disease retroperitoneal fibrosis. His clinical focus in lupus nephritis is the factors resulting in the ethnic disparity in outcomes in lupus comparing African Americans to Caucasians. He, along with Dr. Diane Kamen, has established the SLEIGH study, SLE in Gullah Health, to identify genetic and environmental factors that result in this disparity. He and Dr. Jim Oates are studying the effects of oxidative stress on lupus patients and animal models of lupus. Members of the M.U.S.C.L.E. Research Group at MUSC are studying transcriptional regulators in lupus, the role of the complement system in lupus, the role of estrogen receptors in lupus and genetic factors involved in immunoglobulin class switch recombination. The lupus research group is also identifying and validating new biomarkers in lupus and participants are active in the lupus genetics consortium defining genetic causes of lupus. The lupus research group is also involved in a number of clinical trials, both investigator-initiated and industry sponsored.