Leigh Callahan, PhD, is Director/Principal Investigator leading a team of scientists who are advancing understanding, prevention & treatment of diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Due to their prevalence as well as the pain and loss of function they cause, Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) are a leading cause of disability in the U.S.

Because they encompass a broad range of heterogeneous conditions, including more than 100 forms of arthritis and other diseases, RMDs present a unique challenge; effective studies in their prevention and treatment must take into account a large number of different phenotypic characteristics.

To address these challenges, UNC’s Core Center for Clinical Research (CCCR) is building upon the transformative efforts of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center (TARC’s) Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center (MCRC).  While there is a particular emphasis on osteoarthritis (OA), the advanced methods of analytical phenotyping and precision medicine being utilized for OA can also be applied to other RMDs such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and vasculitis.

“We are applying a broad range of scientific expertise derived from a deep bench of leading experts to optimize the design, analysis and implementation of clinical studies and trials in OA and other RMDs,” said Leigh Callahan, PhD. “This will enable us to advance clinical care and public health efforts targeted toward individuals with this disease.”

The CCCR will advance its goals through an Administrative Core led by Dr. Callahan; a Methodology Core co-directed by Dr. Todd Schwartz and Dr. Kelli Allen; and a Precision Medicine and Phenotyping Resource Core directed by Dr. Richard Loeser.

Dr. Callahan is also Associate Director of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center. She and Dr. Loeser, Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and CCCR co-Principal Investigator, are excited about the partnerships and linkages the CCCR has across the UNC campus with the Schools of Medicine and Public Health, the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as national and international collaborations.

You may learn more about the grant via this link.