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Featured First Author Profiles

Mark Hwang

New Content Item (2)Dr Mark Hwang was awarded his medical degree from Saint Louis University. He then completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) and rheumatology fellowship at Washington University in Saint Louis.  He completed his Masters in Clinical Research at UTHealth Houston where he is a junior faculty member in the Division of Rheumatology. Dr Hwang’s work is in spondyloarthritis clinical and translational research and clinical care with a focus on ankylosing spondylitis biomarker development and spinal disease progression.  He co-directs the Spondyloarthritis Program at UTHealth Houston. Outside of work, he enjoys playing basketball, coaching youth soccer, visiting new restaurants and spending time with his family. 

Quantitative proteomic screening uncovers candidate diagnostic and monitoring serum biomarkers of ankylosing spondylitis. 
Mark Hwang et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2023 25:57
Published on: 11 April 2023

Yixiao Tian (2)Yixiao Tian received her Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Medicine at Shanghai Jiaotong University, China. In 2020, she received her Master’s degree in Internal Medicine at Peking Union Medical College, China, under the supervision of professor Li Jing in Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital. The focus of her work is the pathogenesis of systemic vasculitis, particularly the role of T-cells and Toll-like receptors. Besides, her major research interests include seeking strategies for autoimmune disease subtypes for individualized treatment, which aims to develop efficacious treatment options for specific groups of patients. At present, she is continuing her research under the supervision of Pro. Li Jing. Outside of work, she enjoys bamboo flute, history, hiking, and spending time with good friends and family.

Using the co-expression network of T cell-activation-related genes to assess the disease activity in Takayasu’s arteritis patients
Yixiao Tian et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:303
Published on: 16 December 2021

Juan MolinaJuan Molina received his Bachelor’s degree in Medicine at Autónoma University of Madrid, Spain, and is completing a Master’s degree on Immune-mediated rheumatic diseases of the Spanish Rheumatology Society at Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid. After completing a full Rheumatology Residency program at the Rheumatology department (Prof A. Balsa), La Paz University Hospital, Madrid, and a clinical attachment at The Lupus Clinic, The Kellgren Centre for Rheumatology (Prof. I. N. Bruce) Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester (United Kingdom), he has been working as a consultant rheumatologist specialised in ultrasound at Gregorio Marañón University Hospital (Prof J.M Álvaro-Gracia), Madrid, since 2019. Apart from his clinical activities, he is a member of the EMEUNET Education Sub-Committee and the secretary of the Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Group of the Spanish Society of Rheumatology. He has published in the fields of rheumatoid arthritis and spondylarthritis. At present, his major research interests include the use of imaging, with particular focus on ultrasound in the diagnosis and monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis and large vessel vasculitis. Outside of work, Juan enjoys surfing, travelling and reading.

Ultrasound in clinically suspect arthralgia: the role of power Doppler to predict rheumatoid arthritis development
Juan Molina Collada et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:299
Published on: 8 December 2021

Dr Marwa Qadri imageMarwa Qadri received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. She received a Master’s degree in Pharmacology at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), USA. The goal of her M.S. work was to define the mechanism that contributed to acute flare of gouty arthritis and to find a pharmacological agent to modify these episodes. She received her Ph.D. from Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP), in Pharmaceutical Sciences in December 2020. Her Ph.D. work was focused on the studying the role of innate immunity and its relationship to the development of synovial fibrosis in Knee OA and examining the role of various pharmacologic agents in regulating synovial tissue fibrosis in vitro and in vivo. Currently, she is an assistant professor of Pharmacology at Jazan University School of Pharmacy, Saudi Arabia, and her current research is focused on evaluating the suitability of novel treatments that target synovial macrophage homeostasis.

Proteoglycan-4 is an essential regulator of synovial macrophage polarization and inflammatory macrophage joint infiltration
Marwa Qadri et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:241
Published on: 14 September 2021

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Qadri can be found here.

Ruth Costello imageRuth Costello received a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has just passed her viva for her PhD by published works from the University of Manchester at the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis. In her PhD she used digital data to investigate the management of rheumatoid arthritis, presenting seven studies investigating vaccinations and glucocorticoids using electronic health records and survey data collected through an online health community. She has also applied her epidemiological expertise to a wide range of studies on the epidemiology and pharmaco-epidemiology of rheumatic diseases, including pre-disease risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis. She is currently working on studies related to methotrexate blood monitoring and health service use in juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Outside of work she enjoys running, cycling, baking and crochet.

Symptoms in first-degree relatives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation of cross-sectional data from the symptoms in persons at risk of rheumatoid arthritis (SPARRA) questionnaire in the PRe-clinical EValuation of Novel Targets in RA (PREVeNT-RA) Cohort
R. E. Costello et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:210
Published on: 11 August 2021

Louie AlexanderLouie Alexander received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at Clemson University and is completing a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics at University of North Carolina Charlotte. He previously worked at the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, where he researched biomarkers of osteoarthritis and their associations with patient symptoms. This work inspired his current research interests of genetic biomarkers of disease (e.g. micro RNA) and genetics in precision medicine, and interest in methodologies including multi-omics profiling and machine learning. After he completes his Master’s degree, he hopes to join an interdisciplinary biotech company to conduct translational research that improves patient treatment options. He’s also excited about the potential of bioinformatics applications to aid healthcare professionals in determining effective treatments and interventions. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing board games and video games with friends, and observing nature.

A matrix metalloproteinase-generated neoepitope of CRP can identify knee and multi-joint inflammation in osteoarthritis
Louie C. Alexander Jr et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:226
Published on: 31 August 2021

Evelyn HoutmanEvelyn Houtman received a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Leiden and is currently finalizing her PhD research in the osteoarthritis group of the Biomedical Data Sciences department at the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). Her PhD project focused on setting up human aged osteochondral explant models in which osteoarthritis (OA) is induced by relevant triggers such as mechanical stress, inflammation and thyroid signaling. The major strengths of this ex vivo model is that it considers aged, preserved, human tissues of a heterogeneous OA patient population prone to OA onset allowing for development of different treatment modalities. To study mechano-pathology of OA in the osteochondral compartment of aged human tissues, the model was further exploited by performing RNA sequencing after injurious mechanical stress. Her overall research goal is to translate acquired knowledge of genome wide genetic and transcriptomic datasets of human OA in reliable human biomimetic OA models. Ultimately, to advance OA clinical development towards effective disease modifying OA treatments. During her PhD, she was awarded the OARSI Belt and Road scholarship to perform a part of her research abroad at the KU Leuven. Outside of work, Evelyn enjoys cooking/baking, cycling, mountain biking, and reading fiction.

Elucidating mechano-pathology of osteoarthritis: transcriptome-wide differences in mechanically stressed aged human cartilage explants
Evelyn Houtman et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:215
Published on: 16 August 2021

Michael NissenPD Dr. Michael Nissen completed medical school, internal medicine training and specialty rheumatology training in Adelaide, Australia. Following a move to Europe, he continued working in the field of rheumatology in Lyon and Grenoble in France, whilst specializing in musculoskeletal ultrasound at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. In addition, he has also worked in Canada and the United Kingdom. Michael has been working as a consultant rheumatologist at the Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland since 2008.
Michael is a national committee member of the Swiss SCQM registry and a tutor and researcher for the Swiss SONAR and SGUM ultrasound groups. He is an active member of the EuroSpA collaboration and a EULAR taskforce member. He enjoys both pre- and post-graduate teaching and lecturing.
He has published in the fields of rheumatoid arthritis, spondylarthritis, biomarkers and tendinopathies. At present, his research is centered on spondylarthritis, including both axial spondylarthritis and PsA. His Privat-docent thesis addressed the factors affecting the retention of anti-TNF therapy in axial spondylarthritis, especially with regards to the role for csDMARD co-therapy. His current research is focused on the genetics of PsA and imaging in spondylarthritis, particularly the role for ultrasonography of the entheses.  
Outside of professional activities, Michael enjoys skiing and hiking in the Alps with his wife and 2 girls, trail-running, and he is preparing his next triathlon.

Site-specific resolution of enthesitis in patients with axial spondyloarthritis treated with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors
Michael J. Nissen et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:165
Published on: 9 June 2021

David Simon imageDr. David Simon completed his medical training at the University of Hamburg and has since worked in the Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital of the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Dr. Simon is a Senior Clinician Scientist with extensive experience in clinical and imaging research. His particular scientific focus lies in early arthritis detection, innovative imaging, and conducting clinical trials especially in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis. In particular, he seeks to understand the mechanisms leading to the development of inflammatory diseases and to develop innovative strategies for their treatment. He is Principal Investigator of several studies and recipient of various awards such as the 2019 Else Kröner Memorial Fellowship (Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation). Outside of work, David enjoys reading, road cycling, and spending time with his friends and family. 

Biomechanical stress in the context of competitive sports training triggers enthesitis
David Simon et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:172
Published on: 21 June 2021

Miao M croppedDr. Miao Miao received her medical degree and completed her Internal Medicine residency at Shanxi Medical University. She received her PhD in medicine from Peking University. Her research was focused on rheumatic diseases, regulatory T cells and low-dose IL-2 therapy. These areas are necessary to explore the new drugs and mechanisms of rheumatic diseases. She just completed her PhD degree and is planning to continue the Rheumatology fellowship program at the Peking University People’s Hospital. Outside work, Miao enjoys reading, cinema, and spending time with friends and family.

Therapeutic potential of targeting Tfr/Tfh cell balance by low-dose-IL-2 in active SLE: a post hoc analysis from a double-blind RCT study
Miao Miao et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:167
Published on: 11 June 2021

Kristen Demoruelle imageDr. Kristen Demoruelle received her M.D. at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She then completed her residency, fellowship and Ph.D. training at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research focuses on understanding mucosal site involvement in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with a particular focus on the lung and female genital tract. She studies autoantibody generation and immune dysregulation including aberrant neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation at these mucosal sites to better understand how RA-related autoantibodies originate, how mucosal immune dysregulation contributes to the development of RA-related lung disease and how mucosal sites may contribute to sex differences in the development of RA. Her ultimate research goals are to identify novel mechanism-specific mucosal-based pathways of disease development that can be therapeutically targeted for the prevention of RA and RA-associated lung disease. Outside of work, Dr. Demoruelle enjoys spending time with her family and enjoying the Colorado outdoors with hiking, biking and snowboarding.

Anti-peptidylarginine deiminase-4 antibodies at mucosal sites can activate peptidylarginine deiminase-4 enzyme activity in rheumatoid arthritis.
M. Kristen Demoruelle et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:163
Published on: 6 June 2021

Shingo IshiharaShingo Ishihara received a Master’s degree in Biology from Fort Hays State University and his PhD in integrated biomedical science from Rush University. Additionally, he has work experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has experience in a broad range of research fields such as microbiology, immunology, and osteoarthritis. His PhD research was focused on developing methods for assessment of knee hyperalgesia, of anxiety-like behavior, and of proprioception in models of osteoarthritis. Additionally, his research focused on how CCR2 affects pain and anxiety behavior in experimental osteoarthritis. These areas are necessary to better understand the mechanisms of osteoarthritis pain and will help enable development of novel drugs. He just completed his Ph.D. degree and is planning to continue his research as a post-doc in Dr Malfait’s lab. Outside work, Shingo enjoys running, competing in triathlons, and repairing cars.

The role of intra-articular neuronal CCR2 receptors in knee joint pain associated with experimental osteoarthritis in mice
Shingo Ishihara et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:103
Published on: 7 April 2021

Jutta Richter imageProf. Dr. Jutta Richter is a physician and senior scientist at the Policlinic of Rheumatology and Hiller Research Unit Rheumatology at the Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf/University Clinic Duesseldorf. Besides her specialisation in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology she holds additional qualifications in "Health Informatics" and "Medical Quality Management". She is the spokesperson of the Commission "Digital Rheumatology" of the German Society for Rheumatology, participates in the Commission "Digital Transformation in Internal Medicine" of the German Society for Internal Medicine and is member of the Scientific Board of the Digital Rheumatology Network. Since many years her research deals with multiple aspects of Digital Rheumatology.

Mobile App-based documentation of patient-reported outcomes — 3-months results from a proof-of-concept study on modern rheumatology patient management
Jutta Richter et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:121
Published on: 19 April 2021

James Oliver imageJames Oliver received an integrated master’s degree in Biochemistry and Genetics from the University of Sheffield and his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester at the Versus Arthritis Centre for Genetics and Genomics. His Ph.D. research was focused on identifying early gene expression biomarkers of response to adalimumab therapy in rheumatoid arthritis patients in order to guide treatment decisions. In 2017, he gained a place on the Scientist Training Programme and pursued training as a clinical scientist in genomics at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Following the recent completion of his training, he currently works as a registered clinical scientist in Leeds within the inherited cancer section. Outside work, James enjoys cooking, cinema, and spending time with friends and family.

Transcriptome-wide study of TNF-inhibitor therapy in rheumatoid arthritis reveals early signature of successful treatment
James Oliver et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:80
Published on: 10 March 2021

Emmanuel LedoultDr. Emmanuel Ledoult received his M.D. and M.S. in France at the University of Lille, where he also obtained his specialization in Internal Medicine, defending a thesis on the modeling of skin thickening trajectories in Systemic Sclerosis. In his master’s thesis, he used omics approaches to study fibroblast polarizations in an experimental model of inflammation-mediated fibrosis. Since 2020, he has been member of EUSTAR young investigator group. He now works as Internist in the Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology at the University Hospital of Lille, where he continues his clinical research in the field of systemic sclerosis. He is also pursuing translational researches on fibrosis pathogenesis, with a particular focus on the role of B cells within the Institute for Translational Research in Inflammation (INFINITE INSERM U1286). Outside of his job, Emmanuel enjoys windsurfing and hiking.

18F-FDG positron emission tomography scanning in systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease: a pilot study
Emmanuel Ledoult et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:76
Published on: 6 March 2021

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Ledoult can be found here.

Matthew Wright headshotMatthew Wright received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis and his M.S. from the University of Oregon Bioinformatics and Genomics Master’s Program. For his master’s research, he re-analyzed several ribosome profiling datasets which helped lead to the discovery of a new method of translational regulation in vertebrates. In 2019, Matthew joined the lab of Dr. Damini Jawaheer at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, where he uses RNA-Seq to investigate gene expression changes in rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy-related disease improvement and postpartum disease flare. His research seeks to characterize the biological pathways, cell types, and lncRNAs that are involved in these processes, and to investigate if there is anything at the pre-pregnancy state that can be used to predict them. Outside of work, he enjoys making music, cooking, and riding his bicycle around town.

Is gene expression among women with rheumatoid arthritis dysregulated during a postpartum flare?
Matthew Wright et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:30
Published on: 18 January 2021

Caroline Evers photoCaroline Evers received her medical degree at the University of Zurich in Switzerland in 2017 and afterwards started her Internal Medicine residency. After two-and-a-half years of working in a cantonal hospital including half a year on the intensive care unit, she recently took up employment in a medical office of a primary care physician to get an insight in outpatient care. Her research in Scleroderma patients focused on the different aspects of pain and pain chronification; the study was conducted at the Department of Rheumatology of the University Hospital Zurich, where she will begin a residency in July 2021. This article was her first publication and has been submitted to the University of Zurich in order to receive her doctorate. Outside of work Caroline enjoys concert visits, indoor climbing and hiking in the Swiss mountains.

Pain chronification and the important role of non-disease-specific symptoms in patients with systemic sclerosis
Caroline Evers et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:34
Published on: 19 January 2021

Sebastian UnizonyDr. Sebastian Unizony is an assistant professor in medicine at Harvard medical school. He is the co-founder and co-director of the vasculitis and glomerulonephritis center of Massachusetts general hospital in Boston, USA. His research interests include clinical trials and biomarkers in vasculitis with focus on giant cell arteritis (GCA) and ANCA-associated vasculitis. He is currently leading an investigator-initiated clinical trial that is assessing the efficacy of 12 months of tocilizumab in combination with 2 months of glucocorticoids for the treatment of GCA ( Identifier: NCT03726749). In addition, he is the co-principal investigator in a phase 2, industry-sponsored study of mavrilimumab (GM-CSF receptor inhibitor) for GCA ( Identifier: NCT03827018). In 2020, he received a EULAR clinical research award for his work in GCA biomarker discovery using mass spectrometry ( Outside work he enjoys being with his family, playing music, and kitesurfing.

Clinical outcomes of patients with giant cell arteritis treated with tocilizumab in real-world clinical practice: decreased incidence of new visual manifestations
Sebastian Unizony et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2021 23:8
Published on: 6 January 2021

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Unizony can be found here.

Chris Wasson imageDr. Christopher Wasson received his BSc from the University of Glasgow, and his PhD from the University of St Andrews. For the last three years he has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Scleroderma programme at the University of Leeds.

The focus of Christopher's work is understanding the role of epigenetic factors in Scleroderma associated fibrosis with a particular interest in the long non-coding RNA HOTAIR. Christopher has shown HOTAIR plays an important role in regulating a number of pro-fibrotic signalling pathways in Scleroderma fibroblasts, including the sonic hedgehog pathway.

Long non-coding RNA HOTAIR induces GLI2 expression through Notch signalling in systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts
Christopher Wasson et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:286
Published on: 10 December 2020

Ashley Yip ImageDr. Ashley Yip received her medical degree at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is completing her Internal Medicine residency at the University of British Columbia and has been accepted to the Rheumatology fellowship program at the University of Alberta for July 2021. Her research focuses on imaging in vasculitis, particularly giant cell arteritis. She is currently examining the efficacy of ultrasound compared to temporal artery biopsy for the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis in the Canadian population. Outside of medicine, Ashley is an avid cyclist and enjoys racing in criteriums and triathlons, and has recently picked up mountain biking.

Magnetic resonance imaging compared to ultrasonography in giant cell arteritis: a cross-sectional study
Ashley Yip et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:247
Published on: 19 October 2020

Antti PemmariAntti Pemmari, MD, is a PhD student in the Immunopharmacology Research Group in Tampere University, Finland, under the supervision of professor Eeva Moilanen. His PhD project concerns the phenotypes of macrophages and chondrocytes in arthritis, with a special emphasis on using bioinformatics methods to characterize gene expression profiles. Previously, he and coworkers have investigated the effects of various factors such as PPAR agonists, the phosphatase MKP-1 and plant polyphenols on macrophage phenotypes. Current studies use primary human chondrocytes harvested from OA patients undergoing joint replacement surgery. On the clinical front, Antti specializes in clinical neurophysiology in Tampere University Hospital. Outside work, he enjoys spending time with his family, endurance running and speculative fiction.

Widespread regulation of gene expression by glucocorticoids in chondrocytes from patients with osteoarthritis as determined by RNA-Seq
Antti Pemmari et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:271
Published on: 17 November 2020

Giulia ArmaroliGiulia Armaroli - I am a medical doctor and an academic researcher in paediatric Rheumatology at the St. Augustin Children's Hospital, Germany. Currently, I am finishing my speciality training in general paediatrics.

I undertook my M.D. at the University Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna, Italy, from which I graduated in 2016 with a thesis on the role of S100 proteins as biomarker of disease activity in rare chronic paediatric vasculitides, including polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) and ANCA-associated vasculitides.

From 2014 to 2015 and again from 2016 to 2017, I was research fellow at the University of Muenster, Germany, where I mainly focused on the possible role of S100 proteins in the pathogenesis of coronaric vasculitic damage through pro-inflammatory endothelial activation in Kawasaki disease.

Since 2019, I am active in clinical research as investigator for several clinical trials conducted on children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) by the paediatric Rheumatology Centre of the St. Augustin Children's Hospital, Germany. Driven by the life-changing effect of biologic agents on many young JIA patients observed in daily clinical care, I recently focused on the safety and effectiveness of etanercept in the long-term usage in JIA. My last observational study, on the minimal early response to treatment required to achieve remission in polyarticular JIA, has been awarded a best abstract prize at the Paediatric Rheumatology European Congress PRES 2020.

Outside my work, I enjoy learning new languages, and spending time with good friends and family.

Long-term safety and effectiveness of etanercept in JIA: an 18-year experience from the BiKeR registry
Giulia Armaroli et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:258
Published on: 22 September 2020

Pr. Arsene Mekinian (1)Pr. Arsene Mekinian received his diploma in Internal Medicine from Descartes University in France and his PhD at the University of Paris 13.

Since 2015, he has been a Professor at Sorbonne University in France and is involved in the clinical research of autoimmune diseases, and in particular Takayasu arteritis. He is involved in the design and collaboration in various French and international trials of autoimmune diseases. He is also at the head of French national network on the dysimmune disorders associated to hemopathies and cancer, called “MINHEMON”. Outside his work, Arsene likes soccer and “boxe anglaise”.

Tocilizumab in treatment-naïve patients with Takayasu arteritis: TOCITAKA French prospective multicenter open-labeled trial
Arsene Mekinian et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:218
Published on: 17 September 2020

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Pr. Mekinian can be found here.

Lorenzo Ramos-MucciLorenzo Ramos-Mucci received his Bachelor’s degree at Yale University, USA and his Master’s degree at the University of Twente, Netherlands both in Biomedical Engineering. Previously, he also worked in the Laboratory for Lipid Medicine and Technology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. Lorenzo is currently finishing his PhD at the University of Liverpool, UK where he worked in the Department of Musculoskeletal Biology on ligament pathology during osteoarthritis (OA) progression, exploring OA disease markers, ligament fibroblast markers, ligament viscoelastic mechanical properties and single-cell RNA-seq. Recently, Lorenzo has started a new research role at the University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, focusing on tendon transcriptomics.

Outside of the laboratory, Lorenzo enjoys playing and watching football (soccer), and exploring new places with family and friends.

Meniscal and ligament modifications in spontaneous and post-traumatic mouse models of osteoarthritis
Lorenzo Ramos-Mucci et al. 
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:171
Published on: 6 July 2020

New Content ItemDr Kevin Ming-Chin Lee received his Bachelor degree in Biomedical Science and PhD at the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His major research contribution has been towards the understanding of cytokine-mediated functions of macrophage lineage cells in inflammation and in musculoskeletal conditions, namely rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), thereby identifying and validating potential therapeutic targets for their treatment. Since 2015, he has been a member of the Department of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, working with his colleagues to advance our understanding of rheumatoid diseases. Outside of research, he loves travelling around the world and shares such experiences with his beloved family and friends.

IL-23 in arthritic and inflammatory pain development in mice
Kevin M.-C. Lee et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:123
Published on: 7 July 2020

Paola Di BenedettoDr. Paola Di Benedetto graduated with a degree in Biological Science from "La Sapienza" University of Rome. In 2013, she received her PhD in Internal Medicine and Applied Immunology at University of L’Aquila. Afterwards, from 2013 until 2015, she was a post-doc fellow at University of L’Aquila. Furthermore, she was invited Visiting Research Fellow at University of Leeds (UK), focusing her research activity on the identification of new biomarkers in autoimmune diseases. She has carried out several studies on Systemic Sclerosis pathogenesis, focusing on the mechanisms that starting with vascular damage leads to fibrosis. Beginning with the characterization of mesenchymal stem cells isolated from SSc patients, she has systematically documented the molecular alterations and immunomodulatory properties of these MSCs. At present, Paola Di Benedetto is Assistant Professor in Clinical Pathology at University of Aquila and co-author of over 49 published scientific articles and reviews.

Interleukin-32 in systemic sclerosis, a potential new biomarker for pulmonary arterial hypertension
Paola Di Benedetto et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:127
Published on: 1 June 2020

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Di Benedetto can be found here.

Grunde WibetoeDr. Grunde Wibetoe began his career in research with projects using phospho flow cytometry to study intracellular T-cell signaling in HIV during his years as a medicine student at the University of Oslo. Due to his interest in immunology and rheumatology, he commenced a specialty in rheumatology before he joined the research group at Department of Rheumatology at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo. Here, he completed his PhD in 2019 which focused on cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular risk prediction in patients with chronic inflammatory joint diseases. Now, besides participating in a few research projects, he is currently focusing on clinical practice at the Department of Internal Medicine at Oslo University Hospital. After working hours he hurry to get back home to play with his daughter before bed time. Soon, the family of three will expand as a new little girl is soon to arrive. His life-long interest have been learning new sports, an interest he hopes his two daughters might adopt.

Prediction of cardiovascular events in rheumatoid arthritis using risk age calculations: evaluation of concordance across risk age models
Grunde Wibetoe et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:90
Published on: 23 April 2020

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Wibetoe can be found here.

Seungwon RyuSeungwon Ryu is a Ph.D. student and a participant of the Basic Research Training Program for MD at the Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea. Ryu received his B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from KAIST and his M.D. degree from Konkuk University School of Medicine, South Korea. His interest in autoimmune rheumatic diseases grew from a visiting experience at the Lupus Center of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, under the mentorship of Dr. Michelle Petri. To study the immunology of rheumatic diseases in earnest, he joined the lab of Dr. Hye Young Kim in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University College of Medicine. Ryu is interested in the pathogenic mechanism of SLE with the contribution of the innate immune response. Unlike adaptive immune cells, which have been well studied in the mechanism of SLE, the role of innate immune cells in this chronic inflammation has not received much attention until recently. In particular, the roles of Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILCs), the innate counterpart of adaptive T cells, are emerging in autoimmune diseases. Currently, Ryu is studying the role of ILCs in SLE from a variety of perspectives, using both patient samples and mouse disease models. Outside of work, he enjoys skiing and travelling with his family.

Reduction of circulating innate lymphoid cell progenitors results in impaired cytokine production by innate lymphoid cells in patients with lupus nephritis
Seungwon Ryu et al. 
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:63
Published on: 29 March 2020

Lukas BütikoferDr. Lukas Bütikofer received his diploma in Biochemistry from the ETH Zurich in Switzerland and did a PhD at the University of Zurich. He investigated the synaptic protease neurotrypsin at the neuromuscular junction and found that an overexpression of neurotrypsin leads to premature sarcopenia, a muscle wasting disease associated with aging. Driven by his interest in quantitative methods and evidence-based medicine, Lukas did a specialized master in Biostatistics at the University of Zurich. In his master thesis, he investigated the effect of browsing by deer on tree seedlings using a large data set and machine learning methods. Since 2014 he is working at the CTU (clinical trials unit) at the University of Bern and was involved in the design and analysis of various clinical trials, observational studies and meta-analyses in the fields of rheumatology, pain medicine, oncology, infectiology and anesthesiology. Outside his work, Lukas likes diving and skiing, and very recently, he started paragliding. From time to time, he enjoys a game of table soccer, which always reminds him of his time as a student.

ACE inhibitors in SSc patients display a risk factor for scleroderma renal crisis—a EUSTAR analysis
Lukas Bütikofer et al. 
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:59
Published on: 24 March 2020

Waka Yokoyama-KokuryoDr. Waka Yokoyama-Kokuryo received clinical and research training and undertook doctor’s degree in the department of Rheumatology at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. In her career, she has conducted research on chemokines in the patients with rheumatoid arthritis and research using microarrays. Since 2018, she has been a member of the Department of Rheumatology at Chubu Rosai Hospital, working with her colleagues to treat patients with rheumatic diseases. Outside of work, she loves cooking, thinking about what to cook for dinner, and choosing the wine which goes well to the dishes to enjoy meals with her family and friends. Currently, she is looking forward to going on a trip to enjoy local delicacies and the hot springs.

Identification of molecules associated with response to abatacept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Waka Yokoyama-Kokuryo et al. 
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:46
Published on: 12 March 2020

Giovanni CagnottoDr. Giovanni Cagnotto received his MD in Medicine in Italy at the University of Pavia, one of the oldest Universities in Europe, where he also got his specialization in Rheumatology, defending a thesis on IgG4-related disease written in collaboration with Lund University, in Sweden. Since 2018, he has been a PhD student at Lund University, with research focusing on potential clinical and ultrasonographic predictors of treatment response in rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Cagnotto is also working as rheumatologist at Skåne University Hospital in Lund-Malmö where he is the head of the Department of Rheumatology’s Clinical Trial Unit. His interests lie in evidence-based medicine and as such, he is working on several systematic literature reviews. Outside work, he is interested in economics and ancient history, and loves fencing, teaching fencing to kids and going skiing with his family.

Abatacept in rheumatoid arthritis: survival on drug, clinical outcomes, and their predictors—data from a large national quality register
Giovanni Cagnotto et al

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2020 22:15
Published on: 22 January 2020

Richard BellDr. Richard Bell performed his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology. During his studies he performed research with Dr. Sandra Shultz understanding the genetic contribution to Anterior Cruciate Ligament laxity in the context of altering the risk of ACL rupture. After graduating he performed post-baccalaureate research with Dr. Lori Setton and Dr. Sam Adams at Duke University investigating the relationship between histological changes, pain, and NF-kB activity in response to both direct and indirect NF-kB antagonists with various drug delivery methodologies in a post-traumatic osteoarthritis model. Richard then entered graduate school at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the Cell Biology of Disease graduate program. He joined the lab of Dr. Edward Schwarz in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research in which he focused on elucidating the role of the lymphatic system in rheumatoid arthritis. Once finished with his graduate studies, he joined the lab of Dr. Lionel Ivashkiv at the Hospital for Special Surgery where he is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow studying the trafficking of immune cells to inflamed joints and their respective draining lymph nodes in the context of inflammatory arthritis.

Outside of research, he has a passion for both soccer and college basketball. Specifically, he loves Duke Basketball, having grown up in Durham, North Carolina and Liverpool soccer club. He also has a love for jazz, funk and rock and roll, having played in bands in high school and college.

iNOS dependent and independent phases of lymph node expansion in mice with TNF-induced inflammatory-erosive arthritis
Richard D. Bell et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2019 21:240
Published on: 14 November 2019

Takuya TomizawaDr. Takuya Tomizawa, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in rheumatoid arthritis. He is currently a graduate student at Kyoto University in Japan, where his research focuses on the management of biofilm on implant related infection using murine models. He also participates in some clinical research analysis with a rheumatoid arthritis-cohort. When not engaged in scientific research, he enjoys exploring different types of music and watching rugby. 

Distinct biomarkers for different bones in osteoporosis with rheumatoid arthritis
Takuya Tomizawa et al
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2019 21:174
Published on: 15 July 2019

Yoshiya TanakaDr. Yoshiya Tanaka, M.D., Ph.D. is the Professor and Chairman of the First Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine (2000-present) and Dean of Graduate School of Medical Science (2017-present), University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan. He was a visiting fellow in Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA (1989-92). Professor Tanaka authored and reviewed 626 publications (impact factor 2603, h-index 70) in English, including Nature, New Engl J Med, Lancet and many other major journals. His scientific focus lies on pathological analysis and development of novel treatment in systemic autoimmune diseases, rheumatic diseases and endocrine metabolic diseases, including osteoporosis. He is the President of Japanese Association of Clinical Immunology (JSCI) and Vice-President of Japanese Society of Bone and Mineral Research (JSBMR). He is a Chair of Scientific Committee of Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR), a Chair of Committee for International Affairs in the Japanese College of Rheumatology (JCR) and a director board member of Japanese Society of Inflammation and Regeneration and many. He is also an editor-in-chief of Modern Rheumatology Case Reports, an associate editor of Rheumatology, Cytokine, Arthritis Care and Research, Arthritis Research & Therapy, Inflammation Research, International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases and many, an editorial board member of Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, RMD Open, Modern Rheumatology, Inflammation Research, etc. He has received numerous awards from Japanese Society of Inflammation, JSBMR, JCR and EULAR, etc.

The effect of deep or sustained remission on maintenance of remission after dose reduction or withdrawal of etanercept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Yoshiya Tanaka et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2019 21:164
Published on: 5 July 2019

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Tanaka can be found here.

Helen GosseltHelen Gosselt began her career in science by obtaining her bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences and a master’s degree in oncology from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. At the moment, she is working as a PhD student at the department of Clinical Chemistry of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam and at the Department of Clinical Chemistry at the Amsterdam University Medical Centre in Amsterdam. Her research focuses on clinical and laboratory predictors of methotrexate response and the use of therapeutic drug monitoring of methotrexate in early rheumatoid arthritis patients. She is especially interested in the role of DNA methylation and the application of machine learning tools to predict treatment response and thinks that there are many more great opportunities in the application of such tools in the healthcare domain. When she is not doing research, she enjoys trying new activities and outdoor sports.

Higher baseline global leukocyte DNA methylation is associated with MTX non-response in early RA patients
Helen Gosselt et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2019 21:157
Published on: 26 June 2019​​​​​​​

Stefano AliverniniDr. Stefano Alivernini is an academic researcher in Rheumatology at the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome (Italy). He undertook his medical degree and specialty training in Rheumatology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome and completed his PhD in Clinical Proteomics at the University of Verona. After the subspecialty degree in Rheumatology he took part to the “Inflammatory Arthritis Fellowship Program” during which he did his training, as research fellow, on synovial tissue biopsy and basic and translational science at the Institute of Clinical Immunology of the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam and at the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation of the University of Glasgow. His research activity is mainly focused on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis with specific interest on synovitis, mechanisms leading to tissue inflammation and its resolution and on biomarkers discovery for personalised medicine in inflammatory arthritis treatment (from multiple fields as epigenetics, omics, autoimmunity and pro-resolving mediators). In particular, his own interests lie in finding biomarkers predicting successful remission in response to current treatments aiming to develop algorithm for personalized medicine for RA and PsA. He is in chief of the synovial tissue biopsy unit (SYNGem) at the Division of Rheumatology of the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, which is actively involved in translational studies and tissue-driven clinical trials. He is a member of the European Synovitis Study Group (ESSG) and of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis Centre of Excellence (RACE) network in collaboration with the Universities of Glasgow, Newcastle and Birmingham. Stefano is a member of the EMEUNET (Emerging EULAR Network) Country Liaison subgroup. Outside of work his passions are arts and travelling.

Differential synovial tissue biomarkers among psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid factor/anti-citrulline antibody-negative rheumatoid arthritis
Stefano Alivernini et al.

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2019 21:116
Published on: 9 May 2019

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Alivernini can be found here.

Debbie BoetersDr. Debbie Boeters is an academic researcher in Rheumatology at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Her research focuses mainly on early identification of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. One of her studies details the additional value of MRI-detected erosions and inflammation and of novel autoantibodies. She found that thus far, their value in improving early identification of RA patients is limited. One of the difficulties is that RA is considered to be a heterogeneous disease, probably consisting of separate disease subsets, besides ACPA positive and ACPA negative RA. Especially ACPA negative RA is considered to consist of separate disease subsets. In part of her research, she aimed to differentiate ACPA negative RA patients in subgroups based on the clinical outcome. To this end, she studied the achievement of sustained DMARD-free remission, which currently can be considered the best clinical outcome. Mechanisms underlying the achievement of sustained DMARD-free remission remain unclear but she aims to get more insight into this relevant outcome.

Besides research she also likes to be involved in patient care, and recently started her training to become a rheumatologist. Outside of work she loves to spend time outside, either cycling or walking through nature.

ACPA-negative RA consists of subgroups: patients with high likelihood of achieving sustained DMARD-free remission can be identified by serological markers at disease presentation
Debbie M. Boeters et al.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2019 21:121
Published on: 14 May 2019

Other published articles in Arthritis Research & Therapy by Dr. Boeters can be found here.

Annual Journal Metrics

  • 2022 Citation Impact
    4.9 - 2-year Impact Factor
    5.7 - 5-year Impact Factor
    1.501 - SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper)
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