Dr. Matthew Billard has been a postdoctoral fellow at UNC TARC and has now joined our faculty as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Billard's new faculty appointment is in the Department of Medicine as an Assistant Professor. During the past few years as a postdoctoral fellow in our department, he has shown exceptional promise and we are thrilled to welcome him to the faculty.
Dr. Billard completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his Masters degree in Biology from Illinois State University, and his PhD in Immunology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Following that, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Duke University, combining aspects of statistics, mathematics, computer modeling, and experimental immunology. He was recruited to the UNC TARC laboratory of Dr. Teresa Tarrant as a senior postdoctoral fellow since his research experiences and career interests were germane to Dr. Tarrant’s in chemokine receptor signaling, cell migration, and immunology. Dr. Billard was awarded a K01 career development grant on systems biology of the GPCR ligand-receptor interaction in immune cell migration.
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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.
Leigh Callahan served on the Faculty for USBJI Young Investigators Fall Meeting 11/7-9 in Toronto (Leigh is pictured below in the second row and fourth from the left). More information on the Young Investigators Initiative Grant Mentoring Program can be found here.
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.
The TARC M&I Tarrant lab crushed the Training Initiative in Biomedical Biological Sciences (TIBBS) pumpkin carving contest this year.
The 14th Annual NC Lupus Summit was held at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley
on Saturday, October 25, 2014. Patients, caregivers, and the medical community were invited for a day devoted to those affected by lupus. The Annual NC Lupus Summit is the largest educational conference on lupus in the state and provided a variety of discussions led by physicians and other experts dedicated to solving the cruel mystery of lupus. This year's event will highlighted the talent and creativity of those living beyond their diagnosis.
Dr. Jennifer Rogers, Assistant Professor of Medicine at UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center presented LUPUS 101, a session designed for both the newly diagnosed patient and anyone needing a refresher in the basics. Participants learned about current, medically accurate information on lupus, its symptoms, treatments and coping techniques.
Deb MacDonald, Research Assistant at UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, volunteered at the Clinical Trials Information Table to provide information about participating in research studies.
Thurston Arthritis Research Center Participates in UNC Alumni’s Annual University Day of Service through donations to PORCH and PAWS4EVER October 2014
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.
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.