Who we are

University of Pisa, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

The Rheumatology Unit, is part of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine of the University of Pisa (UNIPI). Patients care, clinical research and education are the three main objectives of the activity of the Unit.

Representative:  Prof. Dr. Marta Mosca


The Rheumatology Unit is referral center for systemic autoimmune diseases, including SLE, undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), antiphospholipid syndrome (SAPL), Systemic Vasculitides, Inflammatory Myopathies and Systemic Sclerosis.

Since March 2017, the Unit is the coordinating Clinical Centre of the ERN-RECONNET, the European Reference Network on Rare Connective Tissue and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

The clinical activity is structured in three levels of care: outpatients clinic, day-hospital for daily drug infusions and inpatients ward.

The outpatients clinic provides first level rheumatologic assessments for undiagnosed patients and disease-specific clinics for SLE (Lupus clinic), Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma clinic), Sjogren’s Syndrome (Sjogren Clinic), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Myopathies, Systemic Vasculitis, Behcet disease and fibromyalgia. In addition a combined pregnancy clinic for patients with systemic autoimmune diseases is active since 2001.

All these dedicated clinics are characterized by a multidisciplinary approach to the patients (thanks to several health professionals involved, like physical therapists, obstetrics and gynecologists, nephrologists, ophthalmologists and so on) and by a strong effort toward quality of care and a patient-centered approach.

In the Lupus clinic of the Unit, overall 400 SLE, 350 UCTD and 200 SAPL patients are regularly followed.

The inpatients ward consists of 18 beds addressed to severely ill patients with rheumatologic conditions, among which connective tissue diseases represent the most frequent indication to the hospitalization.

The Unit also offers three activities of instrumental diagnostics: the capillaroscopy, the musculoskeletal ultrasound and the DEXA.

The research activity of the Unit is focused on epidemiological studies and prognostic factors of systemic autoimmune diseases; quality of care, imaging studies, outcomes measures are other topics of the research activity of the Rheumatology Unit. The research activity is documented in more than 500 published scientific articles over 40 years of activity, several participations to national and international congresses and a worldwide esteem of the research activity. The Rheumatology Unit takes part and leads several collaborative research studies with Italian and European centers.

The educational mission of the Rheumatology Unit is achieved by several initiatives and courses with national and international significance, addressed to medical students, young rheumatologists, nurses and general practitioners. Among these courses, a particular mention goes to the bi-annual EULAR scientifically endorsed course on SLE successfully arrived at its VIII edition and entirely organized by Prof Mosca and her staff. The Course is aimed at 70 young rheumatologists (aged less than 40 years of age) coming from all over the world; the course is aimed at providing a comprehensive and intensive training on various aspects of SLE.

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Management

Sant’Anna School (SSSA) is one of the five Italian special status university institutions, also called “Scuole Universitarie Superiori” that hold a unique position within the Italian higher education system.

Representative:  Prof. Giuseppe Turchetti

Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Policlinic of Rheumatology & Hiller Research Unit

The Policlinic of Rheumatology & Hiller Research Unit, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf (UDUS), focuses on routine patient care and basic and translational research on inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Representative:  Prof. Dr. Matthias Schneider