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Thurston Arthritis Research Center Participates in UNC Alumni’s Annual University Day of Service through donations to PORCH and PAWS4EVER October 2014

UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center Participates in UNC’s Alumni Annual University Day of Service through donations to PORCH and PAWS4EVER October 2014

PAWS4EVER is a no-kill shelter in Mebane, NC.
PORCH is a hunger relief organization for families in Orange County, NC.

 

Dr. Joanne M. Jordan, Director, Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, looking very happy after completing the inaugural Rock ’n Roll Raleigh Half-Marathon in April 2014 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  She will be doing the 5k, Say Boo to Cancer, on November 1st and the City of Oaks Half-Marathon on November 2nd.  She participates in the Half-Marathon and next January 2015 will be in the Full-Marathon in honor of Dr. Andy Barada, Rheumatologist and the founder of Durham Rheumatology, who is battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.  

 

 

Telonya Tabler-Pinckney (center right), Administrative Assistant, UNC Hospitals Rheumatology Specialty Clinic, is the volunteer Outreach Coordinator for Sisters Network Triangle NC. She goes out in the community to health fairs and other events to speak about Breast Cancer Awareness.  Sisters Network, Inc. is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African-American community. She also volunteers the 3rd Sunday of every month cooking for and feeding hundreds in the community at Urban Ministries in Durham. Urban Ministries welcomes neighbors in need regardless of ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or disability. 

 

 

Jaime M. Brozowski, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate 3rd Year, Microbiology and Immunology, Dr. Teresa Tarrant’s Lab HHMI Translational Medicine Trainee, wanted to pass along an exciting volunteering experience she had while monitoring the Vibha  5k run/walk on Sunday, Sept 14th. Vibha is a volunteer driven non-profit organization dedicated to create a brighter future for underprivileged children. This year Vibha raised over $12,000 at the Raleigh Dream Mile which was held on NC State’s Centennial campus, and 10% of the proceeds went to the local RTP Rho Tau Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) group (which includes representation from all over the RTP: Duke, NC State, NC Central and UNC students/post docs). She heard about the event through GWIS, and attended to represent the Women in Science (WinS) group from UNC. She says “I enjoyed seeing such a great turn-out, and especially the families running together and encouraging one another on such a beautiful NC morning. What a great event bringing people throughout the triangle together!”

Above is a group picture of GWIS members and WinS members who volunteered at the event—two GWIS/WinS UNC students are: (far left) Megan Meyer (Rho Tau GWIS treasurer) and husband; and (far right) Jaime Brozowski (WinS Chair) and her husband (other members in the middle are from GWIS/Duke). Both UNC students are from the Graduate Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

UNC TARC's Dr. Leigh Callahan receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Leigh F. Callahan, Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) / Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, MA on November 15, 2014. This award is the highest honor that the ACR/ARHP bestows.

Dr. Leigh F. Callahan, Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UNC’s Thurston Arthritis Research Center will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) / Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, MA on November 15, 2014.  This award is the highest honor that the ACR/ARHP bestows.  The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a current or former member of ACR/ARHP whose career has demonstrated a sustained and lasting contribution to the field of rheumatology and rheumatology health professionals.  

 

 

Dr. Joanne Jordan nominated Dr. Callahan for the prestigious award and says, “Dr. Callahan’s entire professional career has focused on the advancement of arthritis research, advocacy for the importance of this chronic disease to the nation’s public health agenda, and devotion to recruiting and mentoring multidisciplinary researchers in the arthritis mission.  She sparkles with energy that is infectious to all around her and is tireless in championing the priorities of arthritis-related initiatives.”

 

 

Dr. Callahan is also a Professor of Social Medicine, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is Associate Director of Epidemiology and Outcomes Research and the Associate Director of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center.  She also directs the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA), which was recently acquired by UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center from the Arthritis Foundation.  Dr. Callahan has an undergraduate degree from UNC and a PhD from Vanderbilt University.  She has over 30 years of experience in arthritis and health outcomes research, and experience in public health as a former arthritis epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 


Dr. Callahan has served on a number of editorial boards, is a former editor for the Arthritis Care and Research journal and has been a reviewer for numerous journals including the Journal of Rheumatology, Arthritis and Rheumatism, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Medical Care.  She recently served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee that produced the report, Living well with chronic illness: A call for public health action. She formerly served on the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) Board of Directors and is on the Steering Committee of the USBJI’s Chronic Osteoarthritis and Management Initiative (COAMI).  She is a member of the Non-Pharmacologic Trials Working Group of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) Guidelines for Conducting Clinical Trials in Osteoarthritis Committee.  Dr. Callahan is a long-time volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation (AF) on both the state and national level, and received the Charles B. Harding Award for Distinguished Service in 2005 for her work with the Foundation.  In 2006, she received the Addie Thomas Service Award from the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals.  She has authored more than 200 research articles, book chapters, commentaries and editorials.  She is a frequent presenter at conferences and meetings worldwide, and continues to spearhead a number of projects examining the factors surrounding arthritis, epidemiology, health outcomes, and health disparities.  She has received numerous grants from the NIH, CDC and Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Monica Jin awarded the ATVB Travel Award for Young Investigators

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Monica Jin, postdoctoral fellow in the Liu lab, on being awarded the ATVB Travel Award for Young Investigators by the American Heart Association (AHA)’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB). This award is given to the first author who has a high score of an abstract that was selected for presentation at the AHA annual meeting, Scientific Sessions 2014, Nov. 15-19, Chicago. Monica’s presentation is entitled “Dendritic Cells Play a Critical Role in the Initiation of Atherosclerosis”.

UNC RESEARCHER SPOTLIGHT

Written by the NC TraCS Institute. Posted in Join the Conquest.

WHY SHE CHOSE TO GO INTO MEDICINE

When she was 5 or 6 years old, Joanne Jordan saw something on TV that she would never forget. The screen projected images of a child – about Jordan's age – with an enormous belly and her feet in a stream, surrounded by flies and filth. Jordan looked around at her own clothes and toys and wondered how there could be people in the world who didn't even have a roof over their heads. "It sounds crazy but that really hit me like wow, I am pretty lucky. Over the years, that feeling stuck with me, and I began to realize that the most important thing you can possibly have is your health. I saw medicine as my way of giving back for having the good luck of being born in the United States to a family who loved me and could care for me."

WHAT HER STUDIES HAVE SHOWN

Jordan is the principal investigator of the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and is a leading cause of disability in this country. Researchers believe that the rural South may be especially hard-hit by arthritis. Jordan's Osteoarthritis Project is the first of its kind to look at the causes of this condition in both African-Americans and Caucasians in rural Johnston County. Over the last 25 years, the study has uncovered a number of interesting findings. For example, it showed that there are in fact more cases of arthritis in this rural area than elsewhere in the country. The study also discovered that osteoarthritis affects different joints in African Americans than in whites. And it found that people who are exposed to certain metals like lead tended to have more severe disease.

WHY SHE THINKS PEOPLE VOLUNTEER FOR HER RESEARCH STUDIES

"Osteoarthritis is so common, yet we know so little about it. For many people, volunteering for this project is an opportunity for them to be part of something that is bigger than themselves. To really be part of searching for a cure."

HER LATEST PASSION

Jordan participated in her first marathon in March, race walking the entire 26.2 miles of the Tobacco Road Marathon to protect her joints. Though she loved the experience, she plans to go back to doing half-marathons, at least for now, which are less taxing on her aging knees. "My husband jokes that I am a little late to this party. It is sort of funny to discover a love for running in your late fifties. I never thought I would like it, but now I just couldn't live without it. It is so much fun."

Welcome Dr. Krista Todoric

Dr. Krista Todoric joins the faculty in the allergy and immunology (A/I) clinical program

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Krista Todoric to our faculty in the allergy and immunology (A/I) clinical program.  She holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics and will be splitting her time between our A/I Clinic at Carolina Pointe II and the Pediatric Food Allergy Research Group (headed by Dr. Wesley Burks).  

Krista received her medical degree from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at Hershey Medical Center, after which she spent a year working as a hospitalist.  She joined the UNC Allergy and Immunology fellowship training program in 2012 and completed her training this summer. She is an exceptional clinician and we are delighted she joined us.

Sheikh and Rogers named co-directors of new UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic

The Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology proudly announces the establishment of the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic, co-directed by Drs. Saira Sheikh and Jennifer Rogers. This clinic will provide state-of-the-art care to patients with all forms of Lupus.

Burlington Resident Susan Corbett Selected to Serve as Department of Defense Patient Reviewer for Lupus

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aug. 11, 2014 – The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter (LFANC) recently announced that one of its lupus advocates, Susan Corbett, has been selected to serve as a Department of Defense Patient Reviewer for their Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP).

Lupus is listed as a disease area eligible for application to the PRMRP. In addition, the appropriation increased from $50 million to $200 million in FY 2014, so LFANC expects the Department of Defense to receive a large number of lupus grants.

"Our chapter nominated Susan [Corbett] not only because of her own journey living with lupus, but also because of her advocacy work within the lupus community, and her professional background as a pharmacist," said Christine John-Fuller, LFANC President and CEO. "We are proud to know that North Carolina will have representation for this very important time for lupus through the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program."

Corbett is a lupus thriver, advocate for LFANC, and a team captain and top fundraiser for the Walk to End Lupus Now: Raleigh. She resides in Burlington with her family.

About Lupus:
Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, hits out of nowhere, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive, and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to its scope and devastation.

About the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter
The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter is part of the national force devoted to solving the cruel mystery of lupus while providing caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. We work with local health professionals and volunteers to provide information and programs to ensure people with lupus and their families get answers and health professionals know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease. The chapter serves an estimated 45,000 living with lupus in North Carolina. For more information about lupus or the LFANC, visit www.lupusnc.org or call (877) 849-8271. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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CONTACT:
Christine John-Fuller, Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter
704-716-5640, ext. 5 (office)/704-604-9639 (mobile)

Koch wins ASA’s Peace Award for outstanding contributions

Gary G. Koch, PhD, professor of biostatistics at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named recipient of the American Statistical Society’s 2014 Karl E. Peace Award for Outstanding Statistical Contributions for the Betterment of Society.

Koch is a biostatistical consultant to TARC on numerous grants, manuscripts, and center projects, including MCRC and the Johnston County OA (JoCoOA) Project for over 20 years.  He is a mentor to Todd Schwartz, DrPH, our director of methodology core, who has been involved with TARC and JoCoOA for over a decade.   Todd still consults with Gary on biostatistical issues as needed for JoCoOA issues.

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Welcome Kirsten Ambrose, MS to the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance Team

We are thrilled to welcome Kirsten Ambrose, MS to the Thurston Arthritis Research Center as the new Program Manager for the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA). The OAAA consortium was recently awarded to TARC under the direction of Dr. Leigh Callahan.
The OAAA is a national coalition of concerned organizations committed to elevating Osteoarthritis (OA) as a national health priority and promoting effective policy solutions that aim to address the individual and national toll of OA.  They work with the health community to ensure people with OA have the access, skills and capacity to benefit from effective and proven interventions.  The OAAA has three working groups focused on physical activity, injury prevention and weight management.  
 
Kirsten comes to us after serving as Project Director for the Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, working with their clinical trials operation, developing pre-award grant proposals, and contributing to strategic planning.  She has also served as a Research Specialist in the Center for Neurosensory Disorders in the School of Dentistry, as a Consultant/Project Manager for Algynomics, Inc, as a consultant writer/editor for various organizations, and as a Lead Research Specialist in the Chronic Fatigue and Pain Research Center at the University of Michigan.  

Kirsten received her BA in Psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University and her Masters of Science in Exercise Science from The George Washington University.  She is the author of 21 scientific papers and 35 abstracts.  She is committed to the benefits and importance of physical activity for overall health, illness prevention and rehabilitation from injury, as reflected in her choice of graduate study, her professional experience in research and personal training of individuals with special needs, and her personal lifestyle.  
 
Kirsten officially joined us on July 14 and is working on the transition of operations of the OAAA to UNC – including updating its website, organizing Lunch and Learn webinars, writing and distributing its newsletter, managing membership and subscription lists, working on member recruitment and engagement, managing and supporting the three workgroups, and supporting the Steering Committee.   These many roles will not only serve the OAAA, but also the Chronic OA Management Initiative (COAMI), the MCRC, and TARC in general.  

Dr. Rebekah Layton joins TARC and the PALS team

Dr. Layton recently joined the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and our Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center (MCRC) as a member of the Partners in Active Living Study (PALS) research team.

Rebekah “Beka” Layton earned her Ph.D. (Social and Personality Psychology, 2014) and M.A. (Psychology, 2011) from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and her B.A. (Psychology and History & Sociology of Science, 2005) from the University of Pennsylvania. Rebekah is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where she served as a Military Police Officer in Baghdad, Iraq. As a paratrooper, she was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and completed her active duty service in Seoul, Korea as a Captain in the US Army.

Her research focus is in self-control and goal-setting, with additional research interests in physical fitness activity, emotion, and mindfulness.  Rebekah is thrilled to join the PALS team, led by Dr. Christine Rini. She is joined by her husband Seth, daughter Ariya, cat Sonic, and dog Lola. Rebekah loves to row (crew) and sing in her free time, and enjoys all things Broadway. She originally hails from Rensselaerville, NY, where she grew up in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, loves hiking along with any outdoor activity. 

Please join us in welcoming Beka!

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