Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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News and Announcements

Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards and honors.

  • 07.12.2018

    A new Northwestern Medicine study has identified a trigger of some fibrotic diseases and an experimental compound to treat it.

  • 03.21.2018

    A new study demonstrates how physicians can use genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients.

  • 03.13.2018

    A Northwestern Medicine study provides new insights into the key role a molecule called oxPAPC plays in the inflammatory response. The findings could inform the development of new therapies for sepsis.

  • 02.12.2018

    The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) of the National Institutes of Health announces five new Core Centers for Clinical Research (CCCR) (P30) awards. The CCCRs provide avenues to advance the methodological sciences that support clinical research within and across the NIAMS' scientific portfolio. The overall goal of the CCCRs is to develop and apply methods, metrics, and outcome measures that address existing and emerging clinical research needs to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal, rheumatologic, and skin diseases.


    Based on internal review, along with inputs from an externally convened Centers Evaluation Working Group and a public Request for Information, the NIAMS decided that the traditional Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Centers (i.e., P60), originally established in 2001 to promote clinical, epidemiological, and health-services research, needed to be updated. This new NIAMS CCCR program is in response to that decision. 


    Each CCCR award includes, at minimum, a strong methodologic core and an administrative research core focused on supporting clinical research. The program is intended to be flexible, innovative, and adaptable, and to accommodate and address pressing needs of the NIAMS clinical research community.


    The 2017 CCCR awards are:


    Improving Minority Health in Rheumatic Diseases (IMHRD) — This CCCR, based at the Medical University of South Carolina and led by Gary S. Gilkeson, M.D., will provide research resources to enable and enhance clinical and translational research on two autoimmune connective tissue diseases, scleroderma and lupus, that have a disparate impact on African American women. A major emphasis will be on communicating and collaborating with minority patient groups and communities to encourage input and participation in clinical research and health promotion activities. The work is intended to contribute to the elimination of health disparities for individuals with scleroderma or lupus and to improve the health of those at an increased risk for one of these diseases.


    Indiana Core Center for Clinical Research (ICCCR) in Musculoskeletal Health — The overarching theme of the ICCCR is to better define musculoskeletal diseases that have common pathogenesis and clinical presentations. The team of investigators, led by Sharon M. Moe, M.D., with support from Mike Econs, M.D., Stuart Warden, Ph.D., and Eric Imel, M.D. at Indiana University, and Connie Weaver, Ph.D. at Purdue University, will integrate a network of electronic health records and molecular profiles to identify genetic factors and clinical and biochemical phenotypes. In addition, they aim to standardize physical function measurements and imaging modalities to define the diseases’ functional and morphologic phenotypes. Improving the definition and diagnosis of these musculoskeletal conditions could lead to personalized medicine through health care providers prescribing tailored treatment for each patient.


    VERITY: Value and Evidence in Rheumatology Using Bioinformatics, and Advanced Analytics — The Brigham and Women’s Hospital CCCR, led by Daniel Hal Solomon, M.D., M.P.H., is organized around scientific themes that can be applied to multiple rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Investigators will explore strategies for: including patients in clinical trial design and result interpretation and dissemination; using behavioral economics methods to enhance the benefits of interventions that are known to be effective; extracting information from large, diverse databases; using mobile health technologies in clinical research; and disseminating information to and mentoring clinical researchers through distributed learning models.


    Core Center for Clinical Research at Northwestern University — This CCCR, led by Leena Sharma, M.D., focuses on lifestyle, behavioral, medical and rehabilitative solutions for individuals who have or are at risk for rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. Much of its work involves incorporating mobile and sensor-based technologies into clinical research, with the goal of obtaining rigorous and reproducible measurements for how people feel and function in their daily lives. The investigators expect that their work will improve the efficiency, productivity, and impact of future clinical studies.


    University of Washington Core Center for Clinical Research in Musculoskeletal Diseases — Although electronic health records enable health care systems to amass comprehensive and complex sets of data on large populations, substantial obstacles prevent researchers from transforming routine clinical information into a research-ready resource. The University of Washington CCCR, led by Jeffrey G. Jarvik, M.D., M.P.H., will explore new approaches to adaptive and pragmatic clinical trial designs, develop pipelines and methods for analyzing data for clinical musculoskeletal studies, and provide analysis-ready data sets and services for investigators who wish to conduct such research. The goal is to provide useful research data to health system decision-makers who can apply the results to improve patient care and public health.


  • 02.05.2018

    The previously unknown cause of anti-phosphatidylethanolamine (aPE) autoimmunity was discovered in a Northwestern Medicine study published in PNAS.

  • 01.30.2018

    John Varga, MD, John and Nancy Hughes Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology, director of the Northwestern Scleroderma Program and co-editor of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scleroderma Foundation. The foundation, which has given this award to physicians only twice in its history, mentioned Varga’s more than a decade of service as chair of its Medical & Scientific Advisory Board and his role in creating the Early Career Investigator workshop and establishing the SCORE Grant program.



  • 12.11.2017

  • 12.04.2017

    A new Northwestern Medicine study suggests that a protein called Bim may be a novel therapeutic target for lupus.

  • 11.16.2017

  • 11.06.2017

  • Congratulations to Dr. Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman on Receiving the Evelyn V. Hess Award from the Lupus Foundation of America

    In 2005, The Lupus Foundation of America established the Evelyn V. Hess, MD, MACP, MACR, Award, to be given annually to a clinical or basic researcher whose body of work has significantly advanced understanding of the pathophysiology, etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, or treatment of lupus. This award was created to recognize Dr. Hess' outstanding contributions to lupus research over the course of her long career. We are proud to have Dr. Ramsey-Goldman's contributions to the lupus community recognized! More information on past award recipients can be found on the Lupus Foundation of America's website.


    Dr. Ruderman, Dr. Perlman, Dr. Ramsey-Goldman, Dr. Pope

    Dr. Ruderman, Dr. Perlman, Dr. Ramsey-Goldman and Dr. Pope


    Dr. Ramsey-Goldman

    Dr. Ramsey-Goldman


    Dr. Ramsey-Goldman

    Dr. Ramsey-Goldman receiving the Evelyn V. Hess Award from the Lupus Foundation of America


  • 10.27.2017

  • Northwestern Launches NIH-Funded Center for Prevention and Treatment of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Conditions

    - Rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions affect a large portion of the U.S. population.

    - The CCCR is centered on improving how persons feel and function in their daily lives.

    - The CCCR will build upon the wearable and portable technology revolution and integrate several outstanding programs at NU.

    A new five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will provide infrastructure to scientists and investigators at Northwestern University to support, accelerate, and improve the quality and impact of clinical research aimed at preventing or treating rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

    The funding, from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), supports the creation of the Core Center for Clinical Research at Northwestern University (CCCR). NIAMS created this grant specifically to condense the time between an investigator conceiving of a way to prevent or treat someone with rheumatic or musculoskeletal conditions and that intervention being incorporated into patient and population care. Rheumatic conditions include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, other types of arthritis, lupus, systemic sclerosis/scleroderma, and vasculitis. Musculoskeletal conditions include any conditions that affect the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and injury to these tissues.

    Improving how people feel and function in their daily lives

    Specifically, under the leadership of PI Leena Sharma and Coinvestigators Michael Bass, C. Hendricks Brown, Rowland W. Chang, Joan S. Chmiel, Dorothy Dunlop, Hassan Ghomrawi, Monique Hinchcliff, Kristi L. Holmes, Masha Kocherginsky, Julia Lee, David C. Mohr, Richard Pope, Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, Nan Rothrock, Bonnie Spring, Linda Van Horn, and Deborah Winter, the CCCR’s work will focus on prevention strategy and intervention development to create lifestyle, behavioral, medical, and rehabilitative solutions for individuals with or at risk for these conditions. These conditions affect a very large segment of the U.S. population. For example, an estimated 21 million Americans have diagnosed osteoarthritis, just one of the conditions that the CCCR targets. Considering just the knee, among Americans 55 years and older, 40% have frequent knee pain or radiographic knee osteoarthritis. In older individuals, knee osteoarthritis is responsible for as much chronic disability as cardiovascular disease.
    The Center will support studies of persons throughout the lifespan, from childhood through old age, with the overarching goal of improving outcomes for those persons at risk for these conditions or who are already afflicted.

    Providing research support to all collaborators

    The overall aims of the CCCR are as follows:

    1. Accelerate and enhance funded research, by improving efficiency, rigor, collaboration, cost-effectiveness, productivity, and impact – this Aim deals with already funded research at Northwestern
    2. Catalyze and add value to all NU research relevant to our mission – this Aim also deals with work that is already planned or underway
    3. Promote new research, by expanding the community working in the areas of our mission and by expanding research fields within the mission – this Aim deals with work that has not as yet been envisioned

    The CCCR is comprised of Administrative, Methodologic, and Resource Cores:

    The Administrative Core is responsible not only for management and operations of the Center, but also for specific CCCR missions, some of which are organized into 3 Sub-Cores: the Mentoring Sub-Core will take charge of Administrative Core missions relating to scientific and career development of mentees, mentor development, and team cohesion; the Outreach Sub-Core will take charge of communication and enrichment missions, attracting investigators, furthering collaboration, and expanding the Research Community and fields of work; the Evaluation Sub-Core will be responsible for ongoing assessment of CCCR activities,

    The Methodologic Core aims include, to provide: data management support; expertise pertaining to research design, study conduct, outcome assessment, and data analysis; an enhanced training environment through focused services, collaboration, team science training; cutting-edge capabilities to meet ongoing and evolving needs of the Research Community regarding: a) statistical analysis, b) epidemiology, c) behavioral science, d) nutritional science, e) implementation science, f) economic evaluation, g) genomics/bioinformatics, and h) clinical informatics.

    The Resource Core, ASSIST-Daily Life (Assessment & Intervention Science & Technology in Daily Life), will integrate Sub-Cores (Person-Centered Outcomes Assessment and Technology; Accelerometer Measurement of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Sleep; and Behavioral Intervention Technologies), with these aims: design tailored multi-modal assessment and health interventions, incorporating real-world: a) self-report of social, physical, and mental health, symptoms, and life satisfaction, and performance-based assessment of motor, sensory, and cognitive function; b) accelerometry to assess physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep; and c) mobile, web, tablet, and sensor-based applications that identify real-world behavioral markers using GPS, activity logs, and wearable biosensors, to predict physiological and psychological states; and implement technology platforms that can deploy interventions and administer multi-modal assessment, integrating into the platform self-report, performance-based, and accelerometer assessment.

    The CCCR is funded by NIH NIAMS grant P30AR072579. The Center will operate as an integrated unit, drawing on many outstanding departments and divisions across Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine: the Departments of Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Medical Social Sciences, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM), and the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS).

    Congratulations to the Northwestern CCCR team!

  • 09.25.2017

  • 09.20.2017

    At Driskill Day, students, alumni and faculty gathered to showcase research and celebrate excellence throughout the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences.

  • 08.02.2017

    A Northwestern Medicine study analyzing the genomes of more than 27,000 individuals has uncovered that ethnic disparities in lupus diagnoses have a genetic basis.

  • 07.27.2017

    A protein called POP2 inhibits a key inflammatory pathway, calming the body’s inflammatory response before it can become destructive, Northwestern Medicine scientists have found.

  • 07.10.2017

    Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered that a unique population of immune cells play a key role in the development of pulmonary fibrosis, a fatal lung disease.

  • 04.07.2017

    The 13th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day broke records with more than 400 abstract presentations that showcased the diversity of innovative research taking place at Feinberg.

  • 04.05.2017

    Richard M. Pope, MD, Solovy-Arthritis Research Society Professor and professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Tripartite Legacy Faculty Prize.

  • 11.15.2016

    Chief Scott Budinger, MD, and the other scientists in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine tackle some of the most common — and fatal — medical conditions in the world.

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