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Renuka Nayak


Microbiome researcher, computer scientist and dancer

Dr. Renuka Nayak is a rheumatologist and physician-scientist dedicated to advancing the care of patients with rheumatic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. She cares for adults with all types of rheumatic disease.

In the belief that increasing diversity will advance patient care more rapidly, Nayak is passionate about advocating for people who are underrepresented in medicine and research.

Nayak has a unique background in biology, computer science and clinical rheumatology, which serves as a foundation for her research on the role of the human gut microbiome (the population of microorganisms in the digestive tract) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other types of rheumatic disease. Overall, she aims to better understand how our microbiome, which many consider our second genome (because the microbes have their own sets of genes), influences our health.

Nayak graduated from Swarthmore College with degrees in biology and computer science. At the University of Pennsylvania, she completed her medical degree and a doctorate in cell and molecular biology with a focus on genomics. She completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in rheumatology at UCSF.

In her free time, Nayak enjoys dancing to children's songs with her daughter.

  • Education

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, MD, 2012

  • Residencies

    UCSF, Internal Medicine, 2014

  • Fellowships

    UCSF, Rheumatology, 2016

  • Board Certifications

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Rheumatology, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title

    Assistant Professor