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January 1, 2002

Five Members Added to NIAMS Council

By Zain Iqbal

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council recently added five new members.

Ms. Vicki Kalabokes is the president and chief executive officer of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation in San Rafael, Calif. She coordinates medical research at over 40 university centers worldwide. Ms. Kalabokes also plays a leadership role in public relations and in information dissemination. She has co-chaired the Coalition of Patient Advocates for Skin Disease Research and she serves as a member of the NIH Council of Public Representatives. She has served as a patient representative on many committees with the American Academy of Dermatology and the Society for Investigative Dermatology. Ms. Kalabokes says, "I look forward to bringing the public voice in my role as a member of the NIAMS Advisory Council."

From left to right: Richard T. Moxley, M.D.; Francesco Ramirez, Ph.D.; NIAMS Director Stephen Katz, M.D., Ph.D.; Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.; Ms. Vicki Kalabokes; Ms. Mary Elizabeth Replogle; and NIAMS Deputy Director Steven Hausman, Ph.D.

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., is the Helen I. Moorehead Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Drexel University and Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hahnemann School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He also serves as the director of the Center for Advanced Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering at Drexel, where his research involves overseas development of new polymer systems for biomedical purposes as well as tissue engineering and drug delivery. Dr. Laurencin received the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from President Clinton in 1995, and Black Enterprise Magazine recently named him one of the 101 leading physicians in the United States. He is currently Vice-Speaker of the House of Delegates of the National Medical Association. Dr. Laurencin says, "I hope my background as an orthopaedic surgeon and chemical engineer can bring an important perspective in providing information and advice to the director of this great Institute. Appointment to the NIAMS Council is truly an honor."

Richard T. Moxley III, M.D., is the director of the Neuromuscular Disease Center, the associate chair of the Department of Neurology, and a professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York. He is currently researching muscle wasting and weakness in the muscular dystrophies, and he has a special interest in the myotonic dystrophies and Duchenne dystrophy. Dr. Moxley is the principal investigator for the NIAMS-funded National Registry of Myotonic Dystrophy and Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Patients and Family Members. "It is an honor and privilege to work with Dr. Stephen Katz and his staff and to have the opportunity to nurture research that will advance our knowledge of the cause and speed the development of new treatments for musculoskeletal and skin diseases," Dr. Moxley says.

Francesco Ramirez, Ph.D., is currently the Dr. Amy and James Elster Professor of Molecular Biology at the Department of Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, as well as the Dean for Research and Vice President of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine at New York University in New York City. Dr. Ramirez will soon be leaving Mount Sinai to take a new job as Chief Scientific Officer for Special Surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Dr. Ramirez was the first to report genetic lesions in osteogenesis imperfecta, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome. Dr. Ramirez is a recipient of a MERIT award from the NIAMS. Dr. Ramirez says, "Having been asked to join the NIAMS Council is without any doubt the highest point of my career. It is indeed a privilege and a responsibility as well."

Ms. Mary Elizabeth Replogle is the vice chairman of the Oklahoma Arthritis Network, a statewide coalition of nearly 200 organizations, businesses and individuals working to bring about the state's Arthritis Action Plan. One of Ms. Replogle's chief interests is helping patients find and utilize the resources they need. For many years, Ms. Replogle has been an advocate for arthritis and rheumatic diseases for the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation. The Oklahoma Public Health Association and other health-related organizations have recognized her volunteer work, as well. Ms. Replogle is also a certified public accountant. Ms. Replogle says, "I am very grateful for what the NIAMS does and am extremely honored to serve as a member of its Advisory Council."

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