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Jennifer Anolik Named Interim Division Chief of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology

Monday, October 4, 2021

After eight years as division chief of AIR, Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H., is stepping down to focus on research, while Jennifer Anolik M.D., Ph.D., assumes the role of interim chief. Anolik also currently serves as associate chair of research and education for the department of Medicine.

Read More: Jennifer Anolik Named Interim Division Chief of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology

Christopher Ritchlin Receives NPF Lifetime Achievement Award

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Medicine, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). The celebration was part of the 2021 Commit to Cure Gala hosted in New York City on September 9, where Ritchlin’s long history of research and clinical care was honored.

Ritchlin is director of the Clinical Immunology Research Unit and is a member of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research. He has served as division chief of AIR for the past eight years, growing the division in both size and funding. Ritchlin is a founding member of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA). Through the NPF, he is co-chair of the COVID-19 Task Force and a member of their scientific advisory committee.

From the Commit to Cure Gala: “It is with great honor that NPF recognizes the lifetime achievements of Dr. Ritchlin with this prestigious award. His efforts for the foundation and his larger contributions to the understanding and advancement of treatment for psoriatic arthritis will resonate for generations to come. His work has had a profound impact on those impacted by psoriatic disease as well as on the NPF community throughout the country.”

Read the NPF press release: NPF Presents Alexa B. Kimball, M.D., MPH and Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., MPH with Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read More: Christopher Ritchlin Receives NPF Lifetime Achievement Award

Giacomelli named one of Popular Science’s ‘Brilliant 10’

Monday, September 20, 2021

When it comes to speedy biopsy results, nothing beats Mohs surgery. To minimize scarring, pathologists analyze excised skin cancers on site to ensure all dangerous cells are gone. Other common cancer surgeries, such as those for the prostate and breast, still rely on lab work that takes days to confirm clear margins, which can mean repeat procedures are necessary. And it’s all very labor¬ intensive. Michael Giacomelli, a University of Rochester biomedical engineer, has a microscope that could put even Mohs surgery’s turnaround time to shame—spotting cancerous cells from a variety of tumors in near-real time.

Read More: Giacomelli named one of Popular Science’s ‘Brilliant 10’

Keeping nanoparticle drug delivery on target, without immune response

Friday, July 30, 2021

Nanoparticles have great potential for delivering therapeutic drugs to specific locations in the body, increasing the drugs’ potency and reducing side effects. However, the poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and other “anti-fouling” materials used as coatings to stabilize and protect nanoparticles from proteins in blood too often trigger an immune response. The nanoparticles end up being absorbed into the mononuclear phagocyte system, whose cells engulf and destroy bacteria, viruses, and, of particular relevance to this work, other foreign substances, and can potentially trigger an antibody-mediated immune response.

This problem was highlighted when a small number of people who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine suffered severe allergic reactions, believed to be triggered by the PEG used on the nanoparticles that deliver the vaccine’s active ingredient, messenger RNA.

Read More: Keeping nanoparticle drug delivery on target, without immune response

$2M Grant Supports CMSR Study of Biologic Factors in Tendon Healing

Thursday, July 29, 2021

A team in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research will use a 5-year, $2 million grant from the National Institute of Health and NIAMS to expand a promising avenue of scientific exploration: the cell biology of tendon healing.

Read More: $2M Grant Supports CMSR Study of Biologic Factors in Tendon Healing

Caroline Thirukumaran Authors JAMA Viewpoint on Disparities in Medicare Joint Surgery

Friday, July 23, 2021

Elective total hip and knee replacements (“joint replacements”) are effective treatments for end-stage osteoarthritis. Because of the clinical benefits of these procedures, racial and ethnic– and income-based disparities in the use and outcomes of these surgical procedures are particularly troubling. The Triple Aim framework, which conveys the idea that health systems need to simultaneously optimize over multiple interlinked yet diverse goals including care experience, population health, and per-capita costs,3 may provide a model for incorporating disparity reduction into the goals of payment reform.

Read More: Caroline Thirukumaran Authors JAMA Viewpoint on Disparities in Medicare Joint Surgery

NIH ‘seed money’ for early researchers yields rich returns for CMSR

Monday, June 14, 2021

Any organization that gets a 42-fold return on investment is doing something right -- actually, doing a lot of things right. That's the story of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, which marked its 20th anniversary in November 2020. Among many achievements worth celebrating: turning $500,000 in P30 pilot grants for young investigators into $21 million in NIH funding over a 5-year period (see chart).

In early June 2021, The Department of Orthopaedics research center got another reason to cheer: notification from NIH that its 800-page P30 grant renewal application was accepted, and it had earned continued funding. The 5-year grant includes $2,499,995 direct costs, and $3,849,995 total costs.

"We have many grants at the Center, but the P30 is a backbone," said Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., Richard and Margaret Burton Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedics and Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research. "It's an infrastructure grant that doesn't directly fund research but makes our research possible."

Read More: NIH ‘seed money’ for early researchers yields rich returns for CMSR