Assistant Professor of Medicine
Rheumatology and Immunology

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Professional Bio

Rachel Bonami, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Medicine.

Dr. Bonami’s research program focuses on identifying autoantigen-specific B cells to define their phenotypic and functional attributes in people at risk for type 1 diabetes, patients with spontaneous autoimmune diseases such as myositis and Sjogren’s syndrome, and patients who develop autoimmunity following immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

In the Bonami Lab, her team works to develop approaches to harness autoreactive B cells as more selective biomarkers and identify pathways to target to limit autoreactive B cell survival and function.

Dr. Bonami has shown that anti-insulin B lymphocytes can be selectively eliminated using a monoclonal antibody to prevent type 1 diabetes in a preclinical model. This work received a Faculty of 1000 recommendation and suggests that such an approach holds promise for the prevention of type 1 diabetes without exposing patients to broad immunosuppression.


PhD - Microbiology and Immunilogy - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine - 2009
Fellowship - Postdoctoral trainee - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine - 2016