We are extremely pleased to announce that Richard Loeser, MD, joined the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and the Thurston Arthritis Research Center on Monday, March 3, 2014. Dr. Loeser is a rheumatologist and was previously the Dorothy Rhyne and Willard Duke Kimbrell Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where he also served as Section Head of Molecular Medicine.
Upon his arrival at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center, Dr. Loeser was awarded the Herman and Louise Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine and appointed as the Director of Basic and Translational Research. He will be an active partner in our mission to serve patients, lead and conduct research, and mentor trainees in our Division and the Department of Medicine.
Once settled at UNC, Dr. Loeser will recruit three additional basic and translational research faculty members to the Thurston Arthritis Research Center. We are fortunate that he brought several valuable colleagues with him to Chapel Hill. Scott Wood, a post-doctoral student; Meredith Greene, a graduate student; and Y (Mary) Zhao and Kathryn Kelley, both laboratory technicians. Dr. Loeser, his faculty recruits and all associated staff and students will be housed on the fourth floor of the Thurston Building.
Dr. Loeser’s translational research interests include osteoarthritis, aging, inflammatory diseases, and cell signaling. His laboratory has studied the basic biology of healthy cartilage cells in joints for over 20 years, was the first to describe certain types of cell receptors, and has published over 100 original manuscripts on these topics, among others. Dr. Loeser is the Principle Investigator on multiple, currently-funded NIH grants studying cell signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of osteoarthritis. Dr. Loeser looks forward to active collaboration with multiple groups across the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Gillings School of Global Public Health, including the Center on Aging, the Departments of Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Cell Biology and Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
I hope you will join in our excitement in welcoming Dr. Loeser as his leadership will be transformative for our Division and our Center.