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Joanne M. Jordan, MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology

Specialty Areas: osteoarthritis, ethnic health disparities, biomarkers, heavy metal exposures, disability, hemochromatosis

Chronology: AB, Cornell University, 1977; MD, Johns Hopkins University, 1981; Residency, Duke University Medical Center, 1981-1984; Fellowship, Duke University Medical Center, 1984-1986; MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991

Description of research and/or clinical interests: Dr. Jordan’s primary areas of research interest include the epidemiology and genetics of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the weight-bearing joints is a leading cause of disability and work disability in this country. Several studies suggest that the rural South may be especially hard-hit by arthritis and its resultant disabilities.

From 1990-2017, Dr. Jordan served as the principal investigator of a large, community-based prospective cohort of individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip in Johnston County, a rural North Carolina county. The Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project (JoCoOA) is the first program of its type to include both African-Americans and Caucasians, and is unique in its inclusion of radiographic, serologic, genetic, and physical and functional examinations of its participants. The study is designed to examine multiple potential causes of radiographic osteoarthritis and of pain, disability, and work disability. These include demographic, physical, metabolic and psychosocial factors, as well as diet and various aspects of the rural work and home environments. In 2017 Dr. Jordan was promoted to Vice Dean of UNC Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development, but remains an active investigator for the JoCoOA project.

In addition, Dr. Jordan has been the principal investigator of a large osteoarthritis genetics study and was one of the principal investigators of a genetics consortium to study heredity of osteoarthritis in families.

She also served as Director of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, and Chief of the UNC Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology.

Awards & Involvement:

  • Inductee, American Clinical and Climatological Association, the oldest medical society in America founded in 1884
  • ACR Board of Directors
  • Osteoarthritis Research Society International Clinical Research Award, 2007
  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Inaugural Award for Excellence in Investigative Mentoring, 2009
  • Rural Sociological Society Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award, 2011
  • Best Doctors in America, 2011

National and International Leadership:

  • American College of Rheumatology Board of Directors, 2014-present
  • American College of Rheumatology Communications and Marketing Committee, 2010-2014
  • Osteoarthritis Research Society International Board of Directors, 2010-2014
  • Chair, Chronic Osteoarthritis Management Initiative of US Bone and Joint Initiative, 2012-2015
  • Chair, Osteoarthritis Research Society International Initiative on Guidelines for Conducting Osteoarthritis Clinical Trials, 2012-2014
  • Deputy Editor, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 2008-2016

Awards to trainees:

  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Medical Student Research Preceptorship, Irina Perjar, 2011
  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Award of Excellence for Investigative Mentoring, 2009
  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Distinguished Fellow Award to trainee Amanda Nelson, 2009
  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Medical Student Achievement Award to Shelby Addison, 2009
  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Medical Student Preceptor Award, Lauren Abbate, 2009
  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Medical Student Preceptor Award, Shelby Addison, 2008
  • American College of Rheumatology Research & Education Foundation Graduate Student Preceptor Award, Yvonne Golightly, 2008

Selected Bibliography:

Murphy LB, Moss S, Do BT, Helmick CG, Schwartz TA, Barbour KE, Renner J, Kalsbeek W, Jordan JM. Annual incidence of knee symptoms and four knee osteoarthritis outcomes in the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2016 Jan;68(1):55-65. doi: 10.1002/acr.22641. PMCID: PMC4684807.

Jordan JM, Henrotin Y. Osteoarthritis research society international initiative on recommendations for conducting clinical trials in osteoarthritis: overview. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 May;23(5):671-3. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.03.016.

Jordan JM. An ongoing assessment of osteoarthritis in African Americans and Caucasians in North Carolina: The Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2015;126:77-86. PMCID: PMC4530702

Nelson AE, Smith MW, Golightly YM, Jordan JM. “Generalized Osteoarthritis”: A Systematic Review. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2014;43:713-20. doi: 10.1016/j.seminarthrit.2013.12.007 PMCID: PMC4065634

Jordan JM, Gracely RH. A special Osteoarthritis and Cartilage issue on pain in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2013 Sep;21(9):1143-4. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2013.07.006

Wu X, Kondragunta V, Kornman KS, Wang HY, Duff GW, Renner JB, Jordan JM. IL-1 receptor antagonist gene as a predictive biomarker of progression of knee osteoarthritis in a population cohort. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Jul;21(7):930-8. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.04.003. Epub 2013 Apr 18. PMCID: PMC3725144

Nelson AE, Renner JB, Schwartz TA, Kraus VB, Helmick CG, and Jordan JM. Differences in multi-joint radiographic osteoarthritis phenotypes among African Americans and Caucasians: The Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. Arthritis Rheum 2011 Dec;63(12):3843-52. doi 10.1002/art.30610. PMCID: PMC3227756

Murphy LB, Helmick CG, Schwartz TA, Renner JB, Tudor G, Koch GG, Dragomir AD, Kalsbeek WD, Luta G, Jordan JM. One in four people may develop symptomatic hip osteoarthritis in his or her lifetime. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2010 Nov;18(11):1372-9. Epub 2010 Aug 14. PMCID: PMC2998063

Publications in PubMed