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Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC


About Dr. Bykerk

Dr. Bykerk works with patients who have, or have recently developed rheumatoid arthritis
With a patient care focus on the importance of proper diagnosis, particularly in the early stages of inflammatory arthritis, which may prevent serious joint damage, lifelong impacts on quality of life. Dr. Bykerk notes that if detected and treated in its early stages, the effects of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly diminished.
"As rheumatologists, we want to see patients with new onset rheumatoid arthritis ideally as soon as possible." said Dr. Bykerk. "Patients often don’t get to us for four to six months after their symptoms have been identified. The longer they wait, the higher the chance damage will occur."
Dr. Vivian Bykerk is the director of a team of specialists at the Inflammatory Arthritis Center of Excellence at Hospital for Special Surgery. The Center includes a dedicated inflammatory arthritis clinic, extensive arthritis registries, scientific studies focused on musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases, a physician education program, and most importantly, an emphasis on providing quality health care to patients.
Dr. Bykerk is principal investigator of the Accelerated Medicines Partnership (AMP), a multiyear NIH funded translational research project across numerous sites in the United States. Dr Bykerk also serves on several subcommittees of this consortium in leadership roles. She has worked to advance the goals of the AMP consortium in RA, co-leading the Phase 0 and I arms of the study and participating in the leadership group of the phase II study planning group. Dr Bykerk has served as a co-chair for the RA Disease Focus Group (DFG) since the project’s inception, written integral parts of the protocol, lab and clinical manuals for both Phase I and II, and provided guidance for policy and publication documents that govern AMP consortium sites.
Dr. Bykerk brings an extensive knowledge base and experience in rheumatology. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and spent two years as a Rheumatology Fellow at McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Bykerk received the Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award in 1989 presented by the American College of Rheumatology for her research in lupus. She served as the Director of the Early Arthritis Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and comes to Hospital for Special Surgery from Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, where she was in the Division of Rheumatology. She has been in rheumatology practice for over 25 years.

Profile Video


Specialized Centers

Inflammatory Arthritis Center


Arthrocentesis (joint draining and injections)

Patient Stories


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Attending Rheumatologist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Director, Inflammatory Arthritis Center of Excellence


Member, American College of Rheumatology (ACR), 1989 - present
Member, Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA), 1987 - present
Member, Ontario Rheumatology Association, 2003 - present
Member, Society for Bone Mineral Research, 2000 - 2007


Fellow American College of Rheumatology, 1990 - present
Fellow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons - Canada F.R.C.P. (C) Rheumatology, 1985 - present 
Fellow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons - Canada F.R.C.P. (C) Internal Medicine, 1983 - present 
FLEX - Michigan, 1981
LMCC, 1981


Recognized by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals as a Doctor of Excellence,
        Inducted into 2013 Edition of Leading Physicians of the World Publication, 2013
Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award presented by the American College of Rheumatology, 1989
Canadian Arthritis Society Fellowship, 1985-1987
Winner, Mount Sinai Hospital Clinical Research Competition, 1985
Cystic Fibrosis Research Grant, 1977 
Governor's Scholarship, McMaster University, 1974 
Ontario Scholarship, 1974


MD, McMaster University Medical School, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1981
Post graduate Studies Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1983 - 1988


General Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1982


FRCPC, Critical Care and Internal Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1985
Internal Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1983


FRCPC, Rheumatology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1987

State Licensure



Publications by Dr. Bykerk

Patient Education

Blog Posts

Selected Books/Chapters

Bykerk VP, Crow MP:  An Introduction to Rheumatic Disease.  Editor:  Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine, pending publication, submitted 2014.

Bykerk VP:  Nonimmunosuppressive disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.  Rheumatology 6e:  Editor:  Hochberg.  Date published: 2014-07-03.  ISBN-10:  0323091385.  434-442 . 

Bykerk VP. Monitoring the Patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus at the Clinic and Bedside. Lupus Erythematosus Clinical Evaluation and Treatment. Editor: Schur, PH and Massarotti, EM. Date Published: 2012.  ISBN 978-1-4614-1188-8. 

Bykerk VP. Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Newly Diagnosed Patient. Targeted Treatment of the Rheumatoid Diseases. ed. IBSN: 978-1-4160-9993-2. 2009. 17-26

Bykerk VP. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Therapeutic Choices, 5th ed. ISBN 978-1-894402-32-3. 2007. 955-971

Selected Journal Articles

Arnold MA, Bykerk VP, Boire G, Haraoui B, Hitchon C, Thorne C, Keystone EC, Pope JE for CATCH Investigators.  Are there differences between young and older onset early inflammatory arthritis (suspected early rheumatoid arthritis) and does this impact outcomes? An analysis from the CATCH cohort.  Rheumatology (2014)doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket449.  First Published on line:  February 5, 2014.  

Harris JA, Bykerk VP, Hitchon CA, Keystone EC, Thorne JC, Boire G, Haraoui B, Hazlewood G, Bonner AJ, Pope JE; on behalf of the CATCH Investigators. Determining Best Practices in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis by Comparing Differences in Treatment at Sites in the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort. J Rheumatol. 2013;40;1823-1830. 

Bykerk V, Cush J, Winthrop K, Calabrese L, Lortholary O, de Longueville M, van Vollenhoven R, Xavier M. Update on the Safety Profile of Certolizumab Pegol in Rheumatoid Arthritis – An Integrated Analysis from Clinical Trials. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.  ARD Online First, published October 3, 2013 as 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203660 

Bykerk V, Lie E, Bartlett SJ, Alten R, Boonen A, Christensen R, Furst DE, Hewlett S, Leong A, Lyddiatt A, March L, May JE, Montie P, Orbai A-M, Pohl C, Voshaar MS, Woodworth T, Bingham III CO, Choy EH, and the OMERACT RA Flare Group. Establishing a Core Domain Set to Measure Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: Report of the OMERACT 11 RA Flare Workshop.   J Rheumatol. April 2014 41(4):799-809; published online before print March 1, 2014, doi:10.3899/jrheum.13125

Bykerk VP, Shadick N, Frits M, Bingham III CO, Jeffery I, Iannaccone C, Weinblatt M, Solomon DH. Flares in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Frequency and Management. A Report from the BRASS Registry J Rheumatol. 2014 Feb;41(2):227-34. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.121521. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

Lie E, Woodworth TG, Christensen R, Kvien TK, Bykerk V, Furst DE, Bingham CO 3rd, Choy EH, and the OMERACT RA Flare Working Group. Validation of OMERACT preliminary rheumatoid arthritis flare domains in the NOR-DMARD study. Ann Rheum Dis 2013, Accepted for publication.

Bykerk VP, Lie E, Bingham III CO, Bartlett SJ, Alten R, Boonen A, Christensen R, Furst DE, Hewlett S, Leong A, Lyddiatt A, March L, May JE, Montie P, Orbai AM, Pohl C, Scholte Voshaar M, Woodworth T, Choy EH, OMERACT RA Flare Working Group. Establishing a Core Domain Set to Measure Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares:  Report of the OMERACT 11 RA Flare Workshop . J Rheum (provisional acceptance 2013)

Barra L, Bykerk V, Pope JE, Haraoui BP, Hitchon CA, Thorne JC, Keystone EC, Boire G; , and the CATCH Investigators.  Anticitrullinated Protein Antibodies and Rheumatoid Factor Fluctuate in Early Inflammatory Arthritis and Do Not Predict Clinical Outcomes.  J Rheumatol. 2013 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Tavares R, Huang S, Bykerk VP, Bell MJ. A parallel group, cohort to determine the psychometric and discriminative properties of an early inflammatory arthritis detection tool. (pending publication)  J Rheumatol February 2013

Bykerk VP, Schoels MM.  Treatment Strategies for Early Rheumatoid Arthritis.  (Accepted for publication)  Current Opinion in Rheumatology.  2013 May; 25(3):375-83. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32835fd294.

Steiman A, Pope J, Theissen Philbrook H, Lihua L, Barnabe C, Kalache F, Kung T, Bessette L, Flanagan C, Haraoui B, Hochman J, Leclercq S, Mosher D, Thorne C, Bykerk V. Non-biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) improve pain in inflammatory arthritis (IA): a systematic literature review of randomized controlled trials. Rheumatology International DOI ) 2013 May; 33(5) : 1105-20. doi: 10.1007/s00296-012-2619-6 (Epub  2013 Jan 6.)

Bykerk V, Keystone E, Kuriya B, Larche M, Thorne J, Haraoui B.  Achieving Remission in Clinical Practice:  Lessons from Clinical Trial Data. Clin and Experimental Rheum.  2013 April 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Tavares R, Wells G, Bykerk V, Guilleman F, Tugwell P, Bell M. Validation of a self-administered inflammatory arthritis detection tool for rheumatology triage. Accepted J Rheumatol 2013 Apr; 40(4): 417-24. doi: 10.3899/jrheum. 120096. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.

Selected Presentations

International Invited Special Lectures and Presentations

Window of Opportunity in Rheumatoid Arthrisi: Myth or Reality? Symposium at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, Washington DC, November 2012

Predictors of Sustained Clinical Remission in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis – results from the CATCH cohort, November 2012

Patients with a Severe Clinical Disease Course Can Be Identified Using Cluster Analysis – Results from a Canadian National Early Arthritis Cohort, Chicago Illinois, November 2011

Bringing the Patient to the Clinic Earlier – How to Identify Patients with Very Early Inflammatory Arthritis, European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)  London 2011, May 2011

Understanding the New Classification Criteria for the Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis; Immunology Summit, Berlin Germany 2011, February 2011

How Guidelines can be Adapted from the World Literature, Mexican-Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Meeting, Cancun Mexico, February 2011

How to Manage Early Rheumatoid Arthritis, Mexican-Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual meeting, Cancun Mexico, February 2011

How to Make a Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis Earlier (European League Against Rheumatology Annual Meeting), June 2010

Practical Issues in Making the Diagnosis of Rheumatology (EULAR Fellows Lecture), June 2010

Controversies in Treating Patients with Early RA – Impact of Recent Clinical Trials. Brigham & Women’s Annual Centacor Arthritis Day, Harvard University, December. 2009

What the Early Arthritis Cohorts have Taught Us – Presented at Rheumatology Grand Rounds, Cedar Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, November 2009

Treating the patient with Early Arthritis – a Workshop. Promise & Progress meeting. Amsterdam, March 2009

Tocilizumab investigator Meeting, Budapest.  An overview of clinical efficacy and safety data on Tocilizumab, September 2008

Oral Podium Presentations of Abstracts at International Meetings:

Visiting Speaker: Third Latin American Forum on Rheumatology. The Patient: An Integrated Vistion. Lecture on Safety in Biologic Therapies; Sept 25-27th 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina September, 2014

Canadian Rheumatology Association National Meeting, Invited Speaker. “Are we performing too many investigations to monitor drug therapy in RA?” February, 2014

Who should be in the next RA Trial? Conference on the `10 year results of the BeST Study. Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands. October 5, 2012

Implementing the new 2010 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria for RA at the bedside – a workshop. Immunology Summit, Prague Czechoslovakia. March 7, 2012

How to Get the Patient with Very early Inflammatory Arthritis to the Rheumatologist. Plenary Session, European League Against Rheumatism Meeting, London, UK, May 28, 2011

The Revised 2010 ACR/EULAR Diagnostic Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis Identify Many More Patients Who Are Eligible for Treatment and for Clinical Trials. American College of Rheumatology, Atlanta, Nov. 2010

Care Gap in Early Inflammatory Arthritis Patients with a High Fracture Risk Identified Using the FRAX® Tool Podium Presentation American College of Rheumatology Meeting, Philadelphia, FRAX, Nov. 2009

European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Symposium, Barcelona - Proportion of patients reaching remission and sustained remission in a real world cohort of patient with early RA treated with initial DMARD therapy, June 2007

Podium Presentation American College of Rheumatology Meeting, Boston– A High Proportion of patients reaching sustained remission in an early arthritis cohort," Nov. 2007


Dr. Bykerk is currently involved in a clinical research program focused on learning more about early rheumatoid arthritis in collaboration with the Inflammatory Arthritis Center of Excellence. This research program will focus on early inflammatory arthritis, identifying important questions, and addressing them through the use of Hospital for Special Surgery’s research registries. She is also the director of the Consortium of Early Arthritis Cohort Studies; a group of observational research studies in early RA in North America.

Dr. Bykerk is also involved in the planning of a clinical research program in Perioperative Medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Bykerk is a head figure in the Accelerated Medicines Program, sponsored by the NIH. This program is looking to develop techniques for ultrasound-guided biopsies of joints affected by arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.

Research Interests

early rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

Clinical Trials

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Bykerk as of February 21, 2023.

  • Amgen - Author; Designer
  • Bristol Myers Squibb - Co-Author; Consultant
  • Crossbridge - Consultant
  • Janssen Phamaceuticals - Medical or Scientific Board
  • Pfizer - Co-Author; Consultant
  • UCB Pharmaceuticals -  Author 

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

Dr. Bykerk in the News

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