As a result of his exceptional work, Micha Abeles decided to pursue rheumatology with a fellowship in 1976. Soon after, he was appointed to the medical staff in the division of rheumatology. In his first years on the staff, he was supported through a federal grant. He then became Associate Director of the University of Connecticut Multipurpose Arthritis Center, which is a federally funded grant that also paid part of his salary. Throughout the 1980s and up to 2016, Micha Abeles conducted numerous important pharmaceutical-sponsored trials that brought him great success in the workplace. Ultimately, these trials helped launch numerous new medications that lead to major improvements in the ability to treat rheumatic diseases. Examples of medications that were studied include Enbrel, Remicade and Humira. During this time, Micha was also able to do original research which lead him to being a co-author of a fibromyalgia criteria paper published in 1990, which was the first study that was able to fully define this syndrome.
Micha Abeles did additional studies on the subject, and he and his co-investigators eventually had 37 publications, book chapters and national presentations about fibromyalgia. In addition, Micha and his co-investigators were the first to show the association of steroid use and avascular necrosis of bone (published in 1978) and the first to show that phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors could successfully treat thromboangiitis obliterans, which causes blood vessels in the hands and feet to become inflamed.
Recent work has been in the field of antibody testing with publication showing that anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA’s) were difficult to interpret and that contradictory findings in different laboratories made interpretation of their meaning even more difficult. Among other accomplishments, Micha Abeles was co-author of some of the first papers to describe the use of methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis and to describe eosinophilic fasciitis.
Micha Abeles mentored many rheumatology fellows who now practice throughout the USA. He has been voted as a Top Doctor in Connecticut for two decades and has been listed as Best Doctor and Castle Connolly top doctor for many years.