An R01 is a grant awarded by the NIH to support a large research project and they are hard to get. Dr. Golightly's RO1 is a four-year grant titled “The Role of Joint Hypermobility in Lower Body Osteoarthritis”, and her UNC TARC team includes Drs. Jordan, Nelson, Cleveland, Schwartz, and Renner; as well as Patrick Gale and Betsy Hackney. The project also has four researchers from other institutions; Duke, Harvard, and Hospital for Special Surgery.
Joint hypermobility is a condition in which range of motion at the joints is greater than normal and is commonly referred to as being “double-jointed.” Joint hypermobility is a lifelong condition that is common in youth and declines with age (joints tend to stiffen with age). As many as 25% of adults may have joint hypermobility, it is more common in women than men and may increase the risk for osteoarthritis (OA).
In the United States, the number of people diagnosed with OA is rapidly increasing each year, resulting in rising health care costs and more people experiencing disability.
We will be conducting the largest study to date of over 7,000 people from three large studies of participants with and without OA: the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project, Genetics of Generalized Osteoarthritis study, and Genetics of Osteoarthritis study. This study will help us understand the role of joint hypermobility in lower body OA. Results of this study will lead to interventions, like shoes, bracing, or specialized exercises, that may promote good joint function to help prevent or treat OA.
“It is uncommon to get the award on the first try, and I feel very fortunate.”
UNC was well-represented at the North Carolina Rheumatology Association (NCRA) meeting March 21-22. Dr. Slavin did a fantastic case presentation sparking much discussion (photo). Dr. Jimmy Ford from pulmonary gave an excellent talk on pulmonary hypertension. Also in attendance were our fellows Drs. Adhikari and Ritt and Dr. Nelson who serves as the academic representative to the NCRA board.
Dr. Richard Loeser in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center has received a National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) research grant called a BIRT award for “Building Interdisciplinary Research Teams”. The purpose of this competitively reviewed award is for investigators holding a current NIAMS RO1 research project grant to form a new interdisciplinary team that will add a novel and innovative approach to the ongoing project. The new team members are Dr. Keith Burridge in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and Dr. Elizabeth Loboa in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The team will study how cell receptors called integrins transmit signals that control the response of cartilage cells to mechanical forces. Cartilage is the tissue that coats the ends of bones providing a smooth and slippery surface that allows for normal joint motion. Maintenance of healthy cartilage is supported by a certain level of mechanical stimulation that occurs during normal joint use. However, abnormal and excessive forces on the cartilage, for example after a joint injury or in obese individuals, stimulate the cartilage cells to breakdown the cartilage, resulting in development of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis and the number one cause of pain and disability in older adults. By better understanding the signals produced in response to various levels of force placed on cartilage cells, new therapies can be designed which would block the response seen with abnormal joint loading and promote the healthy responses needed for maintenance and repair.
Aubrey received her B.S. degree from Elon University in Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Psychology in May 2008. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Methodist University in 2011. Since graduation, she has worked as a Physician's Assistant at Edgewater Medical Center in Lillington, NC and at Lafayette Rheumatology in Fayetteville, NC. Thanks to her experience at Lafayette Rheumatology, she brings to our practice valuable experience in evaluation, diagnosis and management of a broad range of our chronic rheumatic diseases. She also co-founded the Lafayette Gout and Osteoporosis clinics during her employment there. Aubrey is also a trained and certified EMT and worked at Emerald Isle Emergency Medical Services prior to enrolling in her PA program.
Please join us in welcoming Aubrey!
Jaime Brozowski, M.S. is a third year Ph.D. Candidate, HHMI Translational Medicine Trainee and Women in Science at UNC Chair.
Business and nursing staff on opening day of the Therapeutic Infusion Center
UNC Hospitals and the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology are excited to announce the opening of the UNC Hospitals Therapeutic Infusion Center at Carolina Pointe II!
The new twenty-two seat Infusion Center is located on the second floor of 6013 Farrington Road in Chapel Hill. Here, a skilled team of nurses, led by Lana Amend, RN and Suzanne Francart, PharmD, will perform non-oncologic infusions for patients from numerous specialties including - but not limited to - Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, and Benign Hematology. The Infusion Center is led by two clinical faculty of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center; Dr. Alfredo Rivadeneira will serve as Director and Dr. Bill Yount as Associate Director.
If you would like to inquire about utilizing infusion services for your patients – please contact Alex Nance at Alexander.Nance@unchealth.unc.edu
Check out this great article about our center! Drs. Jordan, Tarrant, Callahan, Loeser and Sheikh were all contributors.
Read the full article on the NIH website; http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2015/niams-17.htm
UNC TARC's Beth Jonas, MD has been awarded the 2014 Clinician Scholar Educator Award from the American College of Rheumatology. The purpose of the Clinician Scholar Educator Award is to develop and support educators who are dedicated to providing a high-quality clinical educational experience to future rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals.
As Director for our Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, she has been intimately involved in the education of our fellows and medical residents and is now playing a vital role in our Division’s involvement in UNC’s current revamping of our medical student curriculum. The implementation of this award will coincide perfectly with the rollout of the new medical school curriculum, Translational Education at Carolina (TEC). As an active member of the Foundation Phase group, she has been a key contributor in helping develop the basic framework for the Multi-Organ Synthesis Course and will be using the CSE award to develop a spaced learning component in an integrated rheumatology curriculum.
There is a paucity of rheumatology content in our current curriculum at UNC, as in many medical schools. The rollout of our new curriculum provides an outstanding opportunity to enhance rheumatology education for our medical students, with the goal of ultimately directing more students early in their development into rheumatology as a possible career choice.
We could not be more pleased with the College’s selection of Dr. Jonas for this award. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Jonas on receiving this most prestigious recognition.
Dr. Cleveland received her PhD at UNC and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the International Agency for Research on Cancer. She is a member of the Methodology Core in TARC’s Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center, TARC’s Epidemiology Strategic Planning Committee and has been a key contributor to study design for grant submissions as well as guiding, performing and interpreting statistical analyses for several ongoing projects. She has given numerous presentations at the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Scientfic Meeting and the Osteoarthritis Research Society International meeting. She has also been an active mentor for graduate and medical students at TARC. Her research interests span multiple areas including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, physical activity, mortality, biomarkers, diabetes, genetics and social determinants.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Cleveland to the faculty!