Welcome to the Chair’s Corner

We can’t see our immune system, but we know it’s there to defend the body against disease and infection. What happens when our defense changes? When autoimmune disease develops, the immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake.

This series includes 12 weeks of episodes related to autoimmune disease — from basic science information, to getting diagnosed with a disease, along with a special focus on a selection of diseases. We welcome your feedback. Please follow us on FaceBook to stay connected, and bookmark our site to listen and find transcripts.


  • Meghan Free, PhD

    The Science Behind Autoimmune Disease – with Meghan Free, PhD

    This is Episode One of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture,” a new Chair’s Corner podcast series. Dr. Ron Falk and Dr. Meghan Free begin this series with a conversation about what goes wrong in the cells of the human body during an autoimmune disease process. Dr. Free is a basic science researcher whose work focuses on the autoimmune disease vasculitis; she is an Assistant … Continued

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    The Microbiome & How it Affects Disease – with R. Balfour Sartor, MD

    This is Episode Nine of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Balfour Sartor explains how the state of our microbiome affects disease. Dr. Sartor is the Midget Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology in the UNC Division of Gastroenterology and co-directs the UNC Multidisciplinary IBD Center.

  • Beth Jonas, MD

    Sjogren’s Syndrome – with Beth Jonas, MD

    This is Episode Eight of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Beth Jonas tells listeners about Sjogren’s syndrome and how patients can manage the condition. Dr. Jonas is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, and directs the UNC Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program. She is a rheumatologist with the UNC Thurston … Continued

  • Beth Jonas, MD

    Rheumatoid Arthritis – with Beth Jonas, MD

    This is Episode Seven of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Beth Jonas describes rheumatoid arthritis, how it is diagnosed and treated, and lifestyle changes that can help patients. Dr. Jonas is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, and directs the UNC Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program. She is a rheumatol … Continued

  • Multiple Sclerosis – with Ana Felix, MD, MBBCh

    This is Episode Four of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Ana Felix talks with Dr. Ron Falk about multiple sclerosis (MS), the different forms of the disease, getting an MRI, and issues related to treatment. Dr. Felix is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at UNC.

  • Saira Sheikh, MD

    Lupus – with Saira Sheikh, MD

    This is Episode Five of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Saira Sheikh discusses lupus & how it is diagnosed and treated, and offers suggestions on how to cope with the challenges of this disease. Dr. Sheikh is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and directs the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology at UNC; she al … Continued

  • Dr.  Millie Long

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease – with Millie Long, MD, MPH

    This is Episode Three of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” This episode features Dr. Millie Long with an in-depth look at inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – what it is, how it’s different from IBS, and the long journey patients often have on the road to diagnosis. She also discusses what can help patients feel better. Dr. Long is an Associate Professor of Medicine in t … Continued

  • Having an Autoimmune Condition…Without Having a Clear Diagnosis

    This is Episode Eleven of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Falk interviews a patient who tells her experience of developing autoimmune disease symptoms. This patient describes what it’s like to deal with symptoms that fit the description of an autoimmune disease process but is unable to receive a clear-cut diagnosis for what is happening. She talks about feelings … Continued

  • Patrick Nachman, MD, FASN

    Getting Diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease – with Patrick Nachman, MD

    This is Episode Two of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture,” a new Chair’s Corner podcast series. Dr. Ron Falk and Dr. Patrick Nachman talk about the process of getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and what can help people get through this. Dr. Nachman sees patients who have vasculitis and other diseases that affect the kidney; he is a Marion Stedman Covington Dist … Continued

  • Autoimmune Thyroid Disease – with Deepa Kirk, MD

    This is Episode Ten of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Deepa Kirk discusses autoimmune thyroid disease, how it is diagnosed, different types of hormone treatments, and questions patients often ask about lifestyle and diet. Dr. Kirk is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and is also the Medical Director of the UNC Hos … Continued

  • Jama Darling, MD

    Autoimmune Hepatitis – with Jama Darling, MD

    This is Episode Six of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Dr. Jama Darling talks about autoimmune hepatitis, the importance of liver biopsy, how it is different from other types of hepatitis, and treatments of the disease. Dr. Darling is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

  • Delesha Miller Carpenter, PhD, MSPH

    Autoimmune Disease Coping Strategies

    This is Episode Twelve of “Autoimmune Disease: Pieces of the Picture.” Delesha Miller Carpenter, PhD, MSPH describes strategies for coping with autoimmune disease, including specific behaviors patients can engage in to help cope with their disease, as well as the role of caregivers and support groups, and other topics to help those affected by an autoimmune disease. Dr. Carpenter … Continued