Scott Canna, MD
Scott W. Canna, MD is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and of Immunology, a practicing Pediatric Rheumatologist, and an RK Mellon Institute Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. He has been actively pursuing the mechanisms of auto- and hyperinflammatory diseases since 2005. This began with training in human translational autoinflammation at the NIH, where he contributed to the seminal discovery that IL-1 blockade abolished systemic inflammation in patients with NLRP3 inflammasome hyperactivity. In fellowship and early post-doctoral work under Dr. Edward Behrens, he helped characterize a novel murine model Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS) that examined the balance of Interferon-g with IL-10. Back at the NIH as a Metzger Scholar, Dr. Canna led a that identified NLRC4 inflammasome hyperactivity as a driver of both elevated IL-18 and life-threatening MAS. His group also demonstrated that IL-18 blockade may be a rational and feasible treatment strategy for MAS, supporting development of an orphan clinical trial in monogenic MAS.
Dr. Canna’s training and approach have been consistently translational, beginning with (particularly genetic) observations in human inflammatory diseases, and then leveraging in vivo murine models and cellular immunology to better understand mechanisms of human auto- and hyperinflammation. Since beginning his independent, NIH-funded laboratory in 2016, his group has begun to connect the dots between NLRC4, IL-18, and MAS.