Dr. Nelson is widely recognized as a physician who is passionate about conducting innovative Rheumatology research, as well as providing outstanding care for her patients. We would like to congratulate her for being named the current “Caregiver of the Month” by the Caregivers at Carolina organization. Dr. Nelson is an Assistant Professor Medicine, a faulty member in the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, Director of the Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Clinic at the UNC Rheumatology Clinic, and Co-Principal Investigator for the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project.
Awareness among the medical community and consumers is increasing regarding a still poorly understood food allergy named alpha gal, in which some people who are bitten by ticks subsequently develop an allergy to meat. Physician-scientists in the UNC Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology are leading the way in helping shed new light on this very unusual allergy. Onyinye Iweala, MD, PhD, was recently quoted as an expert source for a news story, in which she provides perspective regarding the increasing prevalence of this condition in the U.S. and in other countries.
Dr. Phanstiel, a UNC Assistant Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology, and faculty member in the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, has been awarded a 5-Year, $1.25 million grant for his research into how human cells regulate gene transcription during development. His research is focused on better understanding how DNA folds within the cell nucleus, specifically which proteins are involved in governing that folding, and how the resulting three-dimensional structure of chromatin regulates gene transcription. This research addresses fundamental questions regarding how our cells work and how each person’s unique DNA sequence contributes to their development and susceptibility to disease. The results will aid our understanding of a variety of human diseases ranging from arthritis to cancer.
Dr. Scott Commins, who was the lead author on the seminal scientific paper that first described this unique meat allergy, and Dr. Onyinye Iweala, a physician-scientist who is working with Dr. Commins to help unravel its mysteries, are using innovative research approaches to better understand and hopefully one day develop an immunotherapy for alpha gal allergy.
Earlier this year, Saira Sheikh, MD, Director of the UNC Rheumatology Lupus Clinic, and Director of the Clinical Trials Program at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, as well as Allen Anandarajah, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, were invited by the ACR to partner with it in developing a grant proposal to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office of Minority Health. We are pleased to announce that the grant has now been funded.
The treatment of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is constantly evolving and advancing, thanks to recent scientific advances and new medications being studied and approved every year. Nonetheless, successful treatment remains partly dependent on traditional values such as maintaining open communication and addressing the personal needs and interests of each patient. Dr. Jonas and her colleagues at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center are passionate about providing outstanding, personalized care and support for patients and their families. In the recent article she provides important insights regarding the best ways to do this in today’s rapidly changing medical environment, as we face a shortage of rheumatologists needed to treat our aging population.
Dr. Collins, a post-doctoral fellow working in Dr. Richard Loeser’s lab, was selected to receive the $120,000, two-year grant following a rigorous scientific competition held by the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). His research currently focuses on determining how age-related increases in oxidative stress levels contribute to disordered cell signaling in joint tissues to promote the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA).
TARC welcomes Dr. Iglesia and Dr. Patel to its Allergy/Immunology Fellowship program. Fellows follow a “Core” 2-year (Clinical + Research) program. For some participants there is an optional 3rd year of advanced training in research. All fellows learn the clinical aspects of Allergy and Immunology while working side-by-side with faculty in a traditional ‘attending clinic.’ In addition, they learn to provide longitudinal care in their own “continuity clinic.” Learn more about our new fellows and our program…