Dr. Richard Loeser in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center has received a National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) research grant called a BIRT award for “Building Interdisciplinary Research Teams”. The purpose of this competitively reviewed award is for investigators holding a current NIAMS RO1 research project grant to form a new interdisciplinary team that will add a novel and innovative approach to the ongoing project. The new team members are Dr. Keith Burridge in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and Dr. Elizabeth Loboa in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The team will study how cell receptors called integrins transmit signals that control the response of cartilage cells to mechanical forces. Cartilage is the tissue that coats the ends of bones providing a smooth and slippery surface that allows for normal joint motion. Maintenance of healthy cartilage is supported by a certain level of mechanical stimulation that occurs during normal joint use. However, abnormal and excessive forces on the cartilage, for example after a joint injury or in obese individuals, stimulate the cartilage cells to breakdown the cartilage, resulting in development of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis and the number one cause of pain and disability in older adults. By better understanding the signals produced in response to various levels of force placed on cartilage cells, new therapies can be designed which would block the response seen with abnormal joint loading and promote the healthy responses needed for maintenance and repair.
Aubrey received her B.S. degree from Elon University in Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Psychology in May 2008. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Methodist University in 2011. Since graduation, she has worked as a Physician's Assistant at Edgewater Medical Center in Lillington, NC and at Lafayette Rheumatology in Fayetteville, NC. Thanks to her experience at Lafayette Rheumatology, she brings to our practice valuable experience in evaluation, diagnosis and management of a broad range of our chronic rheumatic diseases. She also co-founded the Lafayette Gout and Osteoporosis clinics during her employment there. Aubrey is also a trained and certified EMT and worked at Emerald Isle Emergency Medical Services prior to enrolling in her PA program.
Please join us in welcoming Aubrey!
Business and nursing staff on opening day of the Therapeutic Infusion Center
UNC Hospitals and the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology are excited to announce the opening of the UNC Hospitals Therapeutic Infusion Center at Carolina Pointe II!
The new twenty-two seat Infusion Center is located on the second floor of 6013 Farrington Road in Chapel Hill. Here, a skilled team of nurses, led by Lana Amend, RN and Suzanne Francart, PharmD, will perform non-oncologic infusions for patients from numerous specialties including - but not limited to - Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, and Benign Hematology. The Infusion Center is led by two clinical faculty of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center; Dr. Alfredo Rivadeneira will serve as Director and Dr. Bill Yount as Associate Director.
If you would like to inquire about utilizing infusion services for your patients – please contact Alex Nance at Alexander.Nance@unchealth.unc.edu
Check out this great article about our center! Drs. Jordan, Tarrant, Callahan, Loeser and Sheikh were all contributors.
UNC TARC's Beth Jonas, MD has been awarded the 2014 Clinician Scholar Educator Award from the American College of Rheumatology. The purpose of the Clinician Scholar Educator Award is to develop and support educators who are dedicated to providing a high-quality clinical educational experience to future rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals.
As Director for our Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, she has been intimately involved in the education of our fellows and medical residents and is now playing a vital role in our Division’s involvement in UNC’s current revamping of our medical student curriculum. The implementation of this award will coincide perfectly with the rollout of the new medical school curriculum, Translational Education at Carolina (TEC). As an active member of the Foundation Phase group, she has been a key contributor in helping develop the basic framework for the Multi-Organ Synthesis Course and will be using the CSE award to develop a spaced learning component in an integrated rheumatology curriculum.
There is a paucity of rheumatology content in our current curriculum at UNC, as in many medical schools. The rollout of our new curriculum provides an outstanding opportunity to enhance rheumatology education for our medical students, with the goal of ultimately directing more students early in their development into rheumatology as a possible career choice.
We could not be more pleased with the College’s selection of Dr. Jonas for this award. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Jonas on receiving this most prestigious recognition.
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This study is examining the near-term effects of the self-directed format of the program on improvements in primary outcomes of pain, stiffness, fatigue; secondary outcomes of self-reported physical and psychosocial functioning, and program satisfaction. Dr. Alfredo Rivadeneira is a Co-Investigator on the project.
To date, Dr. Callahan and her team have recruited 80 participants in CELAH (Center for Latino Health) Clinics at UNC (Rheumatology, Geriatrics, Internal Medicine, Orthopaedics, Gastrointestinal) and at a Health Fair for Latino Women at the St. Thomas More Church. The team plans to include recruitment outreach at Triangle area churches, the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh and Bethesda Health Center in Charlotte. Dr. Callahan was the Principal Investigator for the Arthritis Foundation’s “Evaluation of Walk with Ease in Arthritis” which established the evidence base for the program among people with arthritis.
Joanne M. Jordan, MD, MPH
Leigh F. Callahan, PhD
Kelli Allen, PhD
Yvonne Golightly, PT, MS, PhD
Maya R. Jerath, MD, PhD
Beth L. Jonas, MD
Edwin H. Kim, MD, MS
Richard F. Loeser, Jr., MD
Amanda E. Nelson, MD, MSCR, RhMSUS
Jennifer L. Rogers, MD
Robert Roubey, MD
Saira Z. Sheikh, MD
Maureen Su, MD, AM
Teresa Tarrant, MD
William Yount, MD
Mary Altpeter - Co-investigator, Callahan and Rini Teams
Diane Bresch, BSN, RN - Coordinator, Clinical Trials Team
Monica Jin, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow, Liu Lab
Denise Allard Trout - Su Lab
Lee Kyung Hong - Su Lab
Matthew Billard, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher, Tarrant Lab
Jaime Brozowski, MS - Graduate Research Assistant, Tarrant Lab
Aaron Kobernick, MD – 1st year Allergy/Immunology Fellow
Joanne M. Jordan, MD MPH, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center was inducted into The American Clinical and Climatological Association in October. Marc Hochberg, MD MPH, Marschall Runge, MD PhD and John Winfield, MD sponsored Dr. Jordan’s membership into the oldest medical society in the country.
The American Clinical and Climatological Association was organized in 1884 by a group of physicians and scientists who set about to improve medical education, research and practice in this country. Its initial concern was with tuberculosis and its treatment by residence in a suitable climate. Throughout its long history, the Association has expanded its interests to all scientific and clinical aspects of medicine and its specialties as well as epidemiology, preventive and environmental medicine, while retaining a continuing interest in the influence of global climate changes on health and disease. Its membership comprises outstanding physicians selected on the basis of their leadership, their excellence in their chosen field, their demonstrated high level of integrity and professionalism, and their yearning to nurture a spirit of warmth, diversity and friendship. The annual meeting of the Association provides an opportunity for presentation and critical discussion of the most recent progress in research, practice and teaching. It is devoted to the scientific understanding and to the compassionate care of human disease. The meeting also serves to reaffirm the values and the principles of the Association. Active membership is limited to 250 physicians.
Dr. Hochberg is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Head of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Dr. Runge is the Executive Dean for the UNC School of Medicine, Chair of the Department of Medicine and Principal Investigator and Director of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at UNC-CH.
Dr. Winfield is a retired rheumatologist, former Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology and Founding Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center.