Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
The connective tissues are the structural portions of the body
that essentially hold the body cells together. These tissues form a
framework or matrix for the body. The connective tissues are composed
of two major structural molecules, collagen and elastin. There are many
different collagen protein types which vary in abundance depending on
body area. Elastin is another protein which has the capability of
stretching and returning to original length like a spring.
Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a rare disorder of degeneration
of the elastic fibers with tiny areas of calcification in the skin,
back of the eyes (retinae), and blood vessels. Interestingly, while
elastin is the major component of ligaments (tissues which attach
bone to bone), the ligaments are not apparently affected by PXE.