Fellowship Endowment Fund We have 2 clinical training programs, one in Rheumatology and one in Allergy and Immunology, each with 4 fellows annually. As part of their education, we support our fellows in pursuit of innovative research projects, leadership opportunities, and invitations to present their work at scientific conferences. As a result, our fellows are superbly equipped to pursue academic or community-practice careers. Each year, we have 200 applications from the best and the brightest around the country for 4 fellowship slots. Currently, the state of North Carolina provides only 5% of our clinical training budget and, without private philanthropic support, we cannot continue to meet our educational objectives.
Distinguished Professorship A Professorship is the single most powerful tool available to academic medical institutions to support a faculty member over time. Such a Professorship provides permanent and renewable funding to allow the development of that faculty member’s clinical care or educational objectives and programs.
Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Gifts support the educational development of our Allergy and Immunology fellows. Our 2-year accredited program typically educates 4 such fellows annually, 2 in their first year of training and 2 in their second year. Upon completion of our program, these fellows become board-certified in adult and pediatric Allergy and Immunology. Gifts can also provide the opportunity for our Allergy and Immunology Fellows to attend 2 annual meetings of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Rheumatology Fellowship Gifts support the educational development of our Rheumatology fellows. Our 2-year accredited program typically educates 4 Rheumatology fellows annually, 2 in their first year of training and 2 in their second year. Gifts can also provide the opportunity for our Rheumatology Fellows to attend 2 annual educational seminars of the Carolinas Fellows Collaborative which is a collaboration between UNC, Duke, Wake Forest and MUSC.
Student Educational Support Improving our teaching initiatives in the clinics by providing the most current training materials, including textbooks specific to Rheumatology or Allergy and Immunology for medical students and residents who study with us in our clinics greatly enhances the likelihood that these learners will choose a career in Rheumatology or Allergy and Immunology.
Nurse Educational Support Continuing education ensures a more effective and efficient experience for our patients. Educational opportunities provide improvements in patient safety and quality of care, in addition to increasing staff morale and job satisfaction, leading to an enhanced patient experience.
Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project Expansion Cohort enrichment will allow us to expand the reach of this 20+year study and enroll new individuals to maintain the vitality and scientific integrity of the cohort. Replacing people who are unable to continue in the project is absolutely critical to our continued success. Our near-term goal is to enroll 2,000 to 4,000 new participants over the next 2-3 years. As arthritis becomes more common and affects younger people as a result of the obesity epidemic and sports injuries, a longer-term goal is to enroll younger adults and other new groups.
Endowed Research Fund Seed funding allows our researchers to launch new projects, can bridge funding between grants, or support existing projects. A named, endowed fund could directly support specific innovative ideas and the faculty members who are generating them.
Food Allergy Research Initiative A new food allergy to red meat has recently been discovered in the Southeast United States. Our allergists and immunologists are experts in this newly recognized, mysterious condition. Contributions can help us to jump-start an investigational research program to help understand how many people in North Carolina are affected, what tests are most accurate to help diagnose the disease, and determine what best treatments might be used to combat this. In order for our investigators to secure competitive NIH funding, philanthropic research dollars can support these initial efforts. This research has the potential to serve the public health interests of the state of North Carolina and establish our research center as the premiere institution in this new field.
Young Faculty Research Training Support Gifts would help fund one young faculty researcher during the early and most vulnerable periods of a new researcher’s career. This type of support can help ensure that we can competitively attract and retain the best and the brightest minds to Rheumatology or Allergy and Immunology.
Post-Doctoral Student Research Fellowship Funding allows our center to recruit and train one highly sought-after post-doctoral student in basic, translational, or clinical research. Not only does this aid in the further research training of a bright new researcher, but these students are the engines that help keep laboratories of senior investigators driving forward and constantly innovating.
Research Funding Gifts to this fund assist our general research initiatives or can support a particular area of interest. See Research Initiatives at Thurston.
Innovative Research Seed Fund Gifts support pilot studies in new and emerging research areas to enable the development of competitive applications for NIH or other funding. This is particularly valuable for new investigators as they work to establish their research careers.
Undergraduate Research Internship Gifts support a two-semester educational program for one rising Junior or Senior undergraduate who is preparing for medical school admission and is interested in medical research in Rheumatology or in Allergy and Immunology.
Visiting Lectureship A critical part of an innovative research center is the free exchange of ideas and research techniques and results with colleagues near and far. Inviting expert researchers from other institutions to visit our center and share their expertise and research findings with us in formal seminars helps to achieve this goal. They also allow others to learn of the cutting-edge research that we are conducting here in our center with small group and one-on-one meetings with faculty, fellows, post-doctoral students, and graduate students, and frequently lead to new clinical and research collaborations.
Clinic Registry Vital to our ability to generate breakthroughs in specific diseases in Rheumatology and Allergy and Immunology is the ability to track our patients’ clinical progress and follow their responses to various treatments. Formal linkage of such information to genetics and biomarkers lead to new insight into causes of disease and critical discoveries. Establishment of a clinical registry and a bank of biological specimens would allow this type of systematic data collection and analysis of clinical information for current and future research and treatment.
Clinical Trial Expansion Clinical trials of new therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, food allergies, and other diseases help us to bring cutting-edge treatments to our patients. Contributions can help us to improve our capacity to increase the number of such trials we are able to conduct at any given time and to enhance the experience of our patients who participate in these critically important studies.
Patient Education Gifts to this purpose help us to develop the highest quality, customized materials for patient education about specific diseases and available treatments. A well-informed patient is better able to participate in his or her own medical care and to make critical decisions with the physician about risks and benefits of various possible treatment plans.
Quality Improvement Projects These projects allow our Rheumatology and Allergy and Immunology fellows to lead small quality improvement initiatives in the clinic to build their leadership skills and support efforts to improve the overall clinical environment and patient care by increasing clinic efficiency and supporting use of best practices.