UAB Insight Rheumatology Volume 5 - Page 2

N OT E WO RT H Y E V E N T s UAB Scleroderma Symposium. Maria Trojanowska, PhD, director of the Arthritis Center at Boston University, was keynote speaker for the UAB Scleroderma Symposium held December 5, 2013, and organized by Barri Fessler, MD, MSPH, the Dunn Scleroderma Scholar in the Division. The symposium was cosponsored by the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, the UAB Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Autoimmunity Center, and the UAB BioMatrix Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Center. 58th Annual Lowe Conference. This event was held in September 2013 at Camp McDowell, near Birmingham. Presenters included keynote speaker Joanne Jordan, MD, MPH, chief, Division of Rheumatology and Allergy & Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Rane McLaughlin, MD, second-year fellow, was awarded the 8th Annual Gene V. Ball, MD Award for Outstanding Case Presentation. Singh First UAB Researcher to Garner Funding From Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute UAB MEDICINE NEWS held in San Diego in October 2013. In addition to Alarcón Awarded Honorary Doctoral Degree Immunodeficiency With Rheumatic and more than 70 abstracts as oral and poster presentations, Professor Emerita Graciela Alarcón, MD, MPH, Autoimmune Disorders several faculty members moderated state-of-the-art received the distinction of Dr. Honoris Causa from the ensure that the information To assist with the evaluation and management of sessions, basic and clinical science symposia, and Universidad de Asunción in Asunción, Paraguay, in UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, has created is helpful, practical, patients with the unique problems of inherited or presented clinical and research talks. During the opening September 2013. Alarcon is the Jane Knight Lowe Chair received a $1.5 million, 3-year funding award from the federal and relevant to patients acquired immunodeficiencies, the Division of Clinical session, Kenneth Saag, MD, MSc, was awarded the of Medicine in Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI ). facing treatment decisions Immunology and Rheumatology offers the combined Rheumatology Research Foundation Excellence in Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. for lupus. expertise of specialists in Developmental and Clinical Investigative Mentoring Award, and Melissa L. Mannion, Her interests are focused on prevention and outcomes Immunology as well as Rheumatology in a single venue MD, fellow in pediatric rheumatology who will join the research dedicated to the study of risk factors accounting Jasvinder Singh, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Singh is the first member of the UAB faculty to be funded by “Our long-term goal is the PCORI. The awards fund comparative clinical effectiveness research designed to answer questions most important to to make sure that minority convened weekly at The Kirklin Clinic at UAB. Prescott faculty in October 2014, received an ACR Distinguished for poor disease outcomes among patients with different patients and those who care for them. patients with lupus have the Atkinson, MD, PhD (both pediatric and adult), and Fellow Award. rheumatic disorders, to the modification of these risk information they need to Harry Schroeder, MD, PhD (primarily adult), represent make informed decisions, at Developmental and Clinical Immunology, and Winn Bridges to Lead American advances in clinical practice. She focuses on systemic develop a computer tool called a decision aid to help doctors and the right time, so they may Chatham, MD, represents Rheumatology. College of Rheumatology lupus erythematosus and is the PI for the LUMINA and their African American and Hispanic lupus patients with kidney actively participate in their Division Directors Taskforce PROFILE studies of SLE. disease choose the best treatment for each individual patient. health care,” says Singh. “The use of decision aids will improve inherited or acquired immunodeficiencies often present S. Louis Bridges Jr, MD, PhD, Lupus most commonly affects young women and occurs patient care and decrease racial and ethnic disparities for lupus with autoimmune and/or rheumatic complications. While director of UAB’s Division patients in the United States.” many of these disorders become manifest in childhood, a of Clinical Immunology and significant percentage of patients present with the initial Rheumatology, has been selected Singh’s project, “Individualized Patient Decision Making for Treatment Choices Among Minorities With Lupus,” will more frequently in minority women. African American and Jasvinder Singh, MD With these latest awards, made under PCORI’s five National Hispanic women have more severe disease and are more likely to die of lupus compared to white women. If not treated early Priorities for Research, the institute has approved more than with strong medications, kidney disease caused by lupus can $303 million since 2012 to support patient-centered clinical In addition to problems with infections, patients with signs or complications in their adult years. Management of such patients poses diagnostic as factors and to the implementation of evidence-based as chair of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Division Directors Taskforce. The charge of effectiveness research. It is on track to commit more than $400 well as therapeutic challenges, as the autoimmune and ACR Division Directors Taskforce is to create a mission, million in research support in 2013. Singh’s project is one of 24 rheumatic presentations are often atypical and treatment measurable goals, and a strategic plan to address current treatments available for kidney disease in patients with lupus funded awards made in PCORI’s priority area of assessment of needs to be tailored in the context of the underlying issues faced by Rheumatology Division Directors. There and use statistical analysis to determine the best estimates of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. immune deficiency. Care and consultations are provided will be a draft proposal brought to the ACR Executive risks and benefits for lupus medications. The decision aids will for patients with pediatric immune deficiency syndromes Committee outlining the goals of the group and the be developed with input from patients at all stages in order to transitioning to adult care as well as adult patients with strategy and timeline for achieving those goals. Other rheumatic and autoimmune disorders who are found to members include Abby Abelson, MD, Cleveland Clinic; have underlying immune deficiency. Mike Holers, MD, University of Colorado, Denver; Dan lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis. Singh’s team will compare all published studies on the Following assessment of antibody and immune continued from cover be used to facilitate patient-provider interaction around The data are expected to result in new insights into the optimal use of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapies and will pathogenesis of SpA, suggest potential new biomarkers be integrated with information in electronic health record for diagnosis and monitoring, and lead to new approaches this cycle: Northwestern University, Chicago, and the systems. The project is expected to demonstrate benefit for to therapy by manipulating the microbiota and adaptive University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The other both process and outcomes among patients with RA.  immune responses to it. seven MCRCs are: Boston University Medical Campus; Project 2. “Adaptive Immune Responses to Gut Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Centers build on by Saag; and now the MCRC. Only two other MCRC centers were awarded during Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; Cincinnati Microbiota in Juvenile and Adult Spondyloarthritis” will a meritorious research base and are expected to leverage Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Dartmouth College, be led by PI Charles Elson, MD, and coPI Matthew Stoll, existing institutional infrastructure resources. New Hampshire; Medical University of South Carolina, MD, PhD.  The second project will integrate cutting-edge technologies of antigen identification with microbiome/ metagenome analysis to provide novel information on the microbial contributions to spondyloarthritis (SpA). 2 F o r R e f e rra l s : 8 0 0 . 8 2 2 . 6 4 7 8 Battafarano, DO, Brooke Army Medical Center, San cell profiles, functional immune responses, and Antonio; Joanne Jordan, MD, MPH, University of North occasionally genetic analysis, a comprehensive plan of Carolina, Chapel Hill; Naomi Schlesinger, MD, Robert care is developed for management of both the immune Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ; deficiency and any complicating autoimmune or Leslie Crofford, MD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville; rheumatic features. Terry Moore, MD, St. Louis University; Lindsey Consultations for patients can be arranged by Criswell, University of California, San Francisco; and contacting the UAB MIST Operator at 800.UAB.MIST William Koopman, MD, former UAB division director or emailing and Distinguished Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the UAB Department of Medicine. Koopman was a UAB is one of few medical centers with three program Charleston; University of California San Francisco; and grants from NIAMS: the Rheumatic Diseases Core Center, Vanderbilt Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center, UAB Well-Represented at ACR Annual Meeting member of the American College of Rheumatology’s Nashville. Faculty, staff, and trainees of the UAB Division of Blue Ribbon Panel on Academic Rheumatology, which Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology; the Center of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology contributed issued a report on the challenges and the opportunities Research Translation in Gout and Hyperuricemia, directed substantially to the success of the ACR national meeting that confront academic rheumatology. led by PI John Mountz, MD, PhD, professor, Division of F e at ur e d c l i n ica l T R I A Ls Safety and Effectiveness Study of the Live Zoster Vaccine in Anti-TNF Users (VERVE). A pilot study of the safety and effectiveness of the live zoster vaccine in anti-TNF users. Principal investigator Jeffrey Curtis, MD, MS, MPH, associate professor and inaugural holder of the William J. Koopman Endowed Professorship in the UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, was awarded a Clinical Research Grant from the Rheumatology Research Foundation. This clinical trial will examine the use of the vaccine for shingles (herpes zoster) in patients using the category of immunosuppressive drugs called TNF inhibitors. NCT01967316. PI: Jeffrey Curtis, MD. Contact: Anita Turner, 205.934.7727. A Phase 4, Multi-Center, Randomized, Open-Label Study to Evaluate the Effect of BENLYSTATM (belimumab; HGS1006) on Vaccine Responses in Subjects with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). The objective is to assess the impact of belimumab on immune response to pneumococcal vaccine in subjects with SLE. Patients must have active autoantibody positive SLE and be receiving standard SLE therapy at screening. NCT01597492. PI: Winn Chatham, MD. Contact: Cheryl Hardin, RN, 205.934.2981. Multicenter, Randomized, Active-Control, Phase 3B Study to Evaluate the Cardiovascular Safety of Febuxostat and Allopurinol in Subjects with Gout and Cardiovascular Comorbidities. A 5-year trial evaluating safety and CV outcomes in gout patients over the age of 50 with a CV comorbidity. NCT01101035. PI: Kenneth Saag, MD, MSc. Contact: Kerry Y. Renfroe, BSN, 205.934.1444. M o r e I n f o rma t i o n : u a b m e d i c i n e . o r g / p h y s i c i a n 3