The American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) annual conference is the world’s premier meeting of its type and provides important research and clinical updates that benefit the scientific community, physicians and patients. At this year’s conference Thurston Arthritis Research Center (TARC) experts played key roles in helping advance research and initiatives that are focused on improving the lives of people affected by rheumatologic diseases.
A few highlights from the meeting:
- Richard Loeser, MD, served as Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee – which oversees the planning of over 450 sessions that included more than 1,000 expert speakers – and was quoted as an official representative for the meeting. In his capacity as Chair, Dr. Loeser worked with the ACR staff and played a central role in helping to coordinate the activities of the planning committee responsible for selecting topics to be covered at the meeting, as well as the faculty best able to speak on those topics. The committee was also responsible for reviewing close to 4,000 abstracts that were submitted for presentation under 28 basic and clinical research categories.
- Kelli Allen, PhD, received the prestigious “Distinguished Scholar” award from the ARHP – which is a division of the ACR. The award is presented annually to a member who demonstrates exceptional achievements in scholarly activities related to arthritis and rheumatic diseases. Dr. Allen received the honor for her innovative research focused on improving the lives of people with osteoarthritis through impactful and practical behavioral – as well as health-system – interventions.
- TARC experts led six separate scientific presentations and workshops, and presented at 10 poster sessions with topics ranging from functional genomic screening, to social influences in rheumatic disease and many points in-between.
- Thurston researchers and clinicians have a long history of leadership roles with ACR, including TARC director Joanne Jordan, MD, MPH, who serves on the Board of Directors. TARC researchers and clinicians who served on key committees for the ACR/ARHP meeting included; Leigh Callahan, PhD; Richard Loeser, MD; Kelli Allen, PhD; Beth Jonas, MD; Becki Cleveland, PhD; and Yvonne Golightly, PhD, PT. Joanne Jordan, MD, MPH, is Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and a member of the ACR Board of Directors.