Current Opinion in Rheumatology was launched in 1989. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of Rheumatology is divided into 15 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Section Editors for this issue.
Dr Andras Perl
Andras Perl received his MD and PhD from Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. He was trained as a resident in Internal Medicine at Semmelweis and as a fellow in Rheumatology/Immunology at the University of Rochester. He held faculty positions at Semmelweis, the University of Rochester, Roswell Park Memorial Institute, and the State University of New York (SUNY). He has been Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology since 1997, Chief of Rheumatology since 2001, and co-director of the MD/PhD Program since 2003 at SUNY in Syracuse, New York.
His research has been focused on interactions of viruses and the host genome and signaling pathways that mediate abnormal T-cell activation in lupus. His laboratory identified the HRES-1 endogenous retrovirus, mapped it to chromosome 1q42, and identified Rab4a as its gene product that confers susceptibility to lupus via increased receptor recycling. His laboratory discovered mitochondrial dysfunction in lupus T cells, characterized by mitochondrial hyperpolarization (MHP) and ATP depletion that predispose to death by necrosis. The increased production of necrotic materials from T cells is an important activator of B cells and dendritic cells and inflammation in SLE. The activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which serves as a sensor of MHP and regulator of receptor recycling, is a biomarker and the target for treatment in lupus. Another biomarker of T-cell dysfunction, the depletion of intracellular glutathione, is targeted through treatment with N-acetylcysteine. Both of these clinical studies have been approved by the FDA and are open to enrollment. The human transaldolase gene was originally identified and its role in cell type-specific regulation of the pentose phosphate pathway, MHP, and apoptosis has been characterized in this laboratory. The deficiency of transaldolase was recently revealed a genetic cause of male infertility and chronic progressive diseases of the liver, leading to steatosis, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and cancer, which may be preventable by treatment with N-acetylcysteine.
His laboratory has published over 120 original peer-reviewed papers, authored chapters in rheumatology and immunology textbooks, trained over 30 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Arthritis Foundation, the American Lupus Society and the Alliance for Lupus Research. He was listed among the Best Doctors in Central New York and in America since 2007.
Polly Ferguson received her MD from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. She trained as a resident in Pediatrics and as a fellow in Pediatric Rheumatology at the University of Virginia, where she remained to complete a post-doctoral research fellowship. Her first faculty position was at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Rheumatology at the University of Iowa. Her research is focused on the etiology of autoinflammatory bone disorders including chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO). She is engaged in international collaborative projects that have led to the identification of 3 gene defects that can cause sterile osteomyelitis including pstpip2 deficiency in a murine model of CRMO, LPIN2 deficiency in a Majeed syndrome and deficiency of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA) which is a newly recognized autoinflammatory disorder. She has published 30 peer reviewed publications in addition to multiple book chapters and reviews. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Children's Miracle Network and the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver Trust. She is listed among the Best Doctors in America.
Dr Joanne M. Jordan received her Bachelor of Arts degree with Distinction in all Subjects from Cornell University in 1977, her medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1981, and her Masters in Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 1991. She received her training in Internal Medicine and sub-specialty training in Rheumatology and Immunology at Duke University Medical Center from 1981 through 1986. She joined the faculty in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina in 1987. She currently is the Herman and Louise Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine in Arthritis, the Chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, and the Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at UNC. She is also Professor of Orthopaedics, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, and Director of UNC's institutional T-32 Training Grant in Arthritis and Immunology and its Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center.
The focus of Dr Jordan's research is the epidemiology of osteoarthritis, particularly as it relates to racial/ethnic and gender disparities. She is the Founder and Director of The Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project, a long-term study of osteoarthritis in African Americans and Whites in a rural county of North Carolina. This study is supported by continual funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1990 and from the National Institutes of Health since 1993. It is the focus of at least 30 basic and clinical ancillary studies, and a rich source for collaborative research and clinical training of numerous pre-medical, medical, graduate, and post-graduate students, and junior faculty. It was the first study of its kind to include African Americans and has provided critical information regarding racial/ethnic disparities in prevalence, incidence, and progression of knee and hip OA, biomarkers of joint metabolism in the osteoarthritis process, the role of environmental exposures to metals as novel risk factors for OA, and the co-morbidity of psychosocial conditions upon OA outcomes and disability.
Dr Jordan is currently the Deputy Editor for Clinical Science of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and has been an Advisory Editor and member of the Editorial Board of Arthritis and Rheumatism, and an Associate Editor for Arthritis Care and Research. She is the recipient of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International's Clinical Research Award in 2007and the 2009 American College of Rheumatology Award of Distinction in Investigative Mentoring. Multiple of her trainees have received Medical and Graduate Student Research Preceptorships and Achievement Awards and the Distinguished Fellow Award from the ACR REF, and Young Investigator Awards from the Osteoarthritis Research Society International.