Sarah Patterson, MD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSF Division of Rheumatology

Areas of Interest

  • Lifestyle behaviors, physical activity, and medication safety in the setting of chronic autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Experience and Current Work

Dr. Sarah Patterson completed her medical training at UCSF, including a three-year subspecialty fellowship in rheumatology. Her research pursuits include:

  • Understanding how perceived stress and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function impacts clinical, serologic, and patient-reported outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Determining how exercise impacts disease activity and perceptions of disease, and whether it modifies the effect of stress on outcomes in rheumatic diseases; and
  • Characterizing barriers to physical activity experienced by people with RA and SLE, as well as physical activities that are acceptable and feasible for this patient group. 

Prior work includes the impact of regular exercise on long-term function in patients with the chronic inflammatory disease ankylosing spondylitis, performance on safety measures among patients treated with biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and investigation of the relationship between body composition, physical activity, and patient-reported outcomes in SLE. 

As a rheumatologist and TRIM fellow, she aims to better define the impacts of stressful exposure, exercise, and mindfulness practices on immune function and clinical outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. She is working under the mentorship of Patricia Katz, PhD; Rick Hecht, MD; and Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH, to measure the longitudinal association between perceived stress, hypothalamic pituitary adrenal dysregulation, and disease activity in a longitudinal cohort of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Education and Training

  • Rheumatology Fellowship, UCSF
  • Internal Medicine Residency, UCSF
  • MD, UCSF
  • BA, Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley


View publications on UCSF Profiles

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