Richard F. Loeser, Jr., MD

Richard F. Loeser, Jr., MD

Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill 

3300 Thurston Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7280
919-966-7042

Webpage

Education and Training

Virginia Tech, 1977-1980; MD 
West Virginia University, 1984; Residency 
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, 1984-1987; Fellowship 
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, 1987-1989; Instructor, Internal Medicine 
Bowman Gray School of Medicine, 1989-1991; Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology) 
Bowman Gray School of Medicine, 1991-1996; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology) 
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 1996-1999; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology) 
Rush Medical College, 1999-2002; Professor of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology)
Rush Medical College, 2002-2005; Professor of Internal Medicine (Molecular Medicine and Rheumatology, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Head, Section of Molecular Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; 2005-2014; Professor 
Wake Forest University Translational Science Institute., 2005-2014; Director of Translational Research, The Sticht Center on Aging 
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2008-2014; Distinguished Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology), Director of Basic and Translational Research, Thurston Arthritis Research Center,
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2014-2017, Director, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, 2017-Present

Areas of Interest

Dr. Loeser’s primary research goal is to discover the basic mechanisms relevant to joint tissue destruction in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading cause of pain and disability in older adults. A better mechanistic understanding of OA is needed in order to develop interventions that can slow or stop disease progression before advanced joint tissue destruction occurs.

Dr. Loeser’s lab uses a combination of in vitro experiments using human joint tissue cells and in vivoexperiments in rodent models to study cell signaling pathways that regulate anabolic and catabolic activity responsible for joint tissue remodeling and destruction. The lab is particularly interested in determining how reactive oxygen species regulate chondrocyte signaling downstream of integrins, cytokines and growth factors through the oxidation of specific cysteine residues in kinases and phosphatases as well as other intracellular proteins. The lab is studying how oxidative stress that occurs with aging and joint injury can alter the activity of these signaling pathways.

Dr. Loeser’s clinical research interest is in exercise and weight loss interventions for knee OA as well as the potential role of gut microbiota in OA.  He has been involved in OA biomarker studies that have included metabolomics work and recently in a multidisciplinary effort to define OA phenotypes.

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