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Ruth Fernandez Ruiz, M.D., M.S.


Locations and Appointments

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Personal Statement

As a rheumatologist, my clinical focus is on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), particularly as it affects historically marginalized communities such as Latinx/Hispanic patients. As a scientist, my main research interests include 1) studying the role of the Lupus-associated PRKG1 gene variant on the RhoA/ROCK pathway and mechanisms of immune dysregulation in SLE; 2) evaluating the impact of cellular stress responses in the development of renal fibrosis in lupus nephritis. Under the mentorship of Dr. Timothy Niewold, my goal is to continue expanding my translational research career to become an independent investigator.

Biographical Info

Dr. Ruth Fernandez Ruiz joined HSS in 2022 as an Assistant Attending Physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. She received her medical degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, graduating top of her class (Magna Cum Laude) on a research track. She then practiced general medicine in rural and urban underserved areas in Venezuela,followed by completion of a two-year internal medicine residency program at the Hospital de Clínicas Caracas, where she served as chief resident during her last year of training. Dr. Fernandez Ruiz also trained in internal medicine at the University of Iowa, after which she did her rheumatology training and chief fellow year at New York University Langone Health.

After completing her two-year clinical fellowship in 2020, Dr. Fernandez Ruiz continued her research training at NYU as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Timothy Niewold, studying the mechanisms by which a gene variant in PRKG1 associates with high type I interferon activity in systemic lupuserythematosus, for which she received pilot grant funding from the NYU CTSI. As a postdoctoral fellow, she also co-led multiple research projects assessing the impact and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. During her time at NYU, Dr. Fernandez Ruiz obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (Translational researchprogram) at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in 2021. She also received a Resident/Fellow of the Year Award by the National Hispanic Medical Association, Rheumatology Fellow of the year award by NYU, and Distinguished Fellow Award from the American College of Rheumatology.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Fernandez Ruiz's research interests focus on the interplay between genetic variation, type I interferons and immune dysregulation in systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical heterogeneity and organ damage in thisdisease. Her work is currently funded by the Lupus Research Alliance. Dr. Fernandez Ruiz specializes in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, undifferentiated connective tissue disease, Sjogren's syndrome, inflammatory arthritis, along with other rheumatologic conditions.

Honors and Awards

• Funding: Postdoctoral Award to Promote Diversity in Lupus Research. Lupus Research Alliance, 2022
• ACR Distinguished Fellow Award. American College of Rheumatology, 2020
• Resident/Fellow of the Year Award. National Hispanic Medical Association, 2020
• Rheumatology Fellow of the Year 2018-2019. NYU Langone Health, 2019
• ACR/ARP Annual Meeting Travel Scholarship. American College of Rheumatology, 2019
• Best Clinical Research Poster: 2nd place. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 2017
• ACP resident clinical vignette competition: 2nd place. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 2016
• Honorable Mention: Dr. José María Vargas Annual Award for Scientific Basic Research. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2014
• Magna Cum Laude. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2009
• Graduation with Honors: Research Distinction. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2009
• Luis Razetti Graduation Award: In recognition of extracurricular activities throughout medical studies. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2009
• Lorenzo Campins y Ballester Award; Highest GPA award. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2009
• Student Merit Award: Mention Research. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2008 and 2009
• Student Merit Award: Mention Academic Performance. Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2007

Board Certifications
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology)
Clinical Expertise
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • M.S.
    New York University School of Medicine
  • M.D.
    Central University of Venezuela, School of Medicine (Venezuela)
  • Assistant Attending Physician
    Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Assistant Attending Physician
    NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University

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No External Relationships Reported