December 21, 2007

NIAMS IR Partners Newsletter, Winter 2007

PDF version of this document


From the Scientific and Clinical Directors . . .

We are pleased to bring you the Winter 2007 issue of IRPartners.

The issue begins with a story about the NIAMS Career Development section and its chief, Mario Cerritelli, Ph.D. This department plays a critical role in sustaining NIAMS’ pool of scientific talent, and serves as an access point, advocate and resource for intramural trainees and candidates.

You’ll also learn about new faces and happenings at the NIAMS Cardozo community health center, and recent activities with the NIAMS Health Partnership Program. In addition, we feature IRP staff members who have recently been honored with professional awards, as well as a synopsis of IRP research highlights from the past several months.

Also of interest are our new information resources, including an interactive Web tool that can help identify one’s personal risk for osteoporosis, a CD-ROM containing a wide array of bone health fact sheets, and a brochure on bursitis and tendinitis.

We hope you enjoy this issue, and we look forward to sharing future highlights and advances with you.

Photo: John O�Shea, M.D.

John O'Shea, M.D.
Scientific Director
Intramural Research Program
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Photo: Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D.

Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Director
Intramural Research Program
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health


NIAMS Career Development Section – A Conversation with Mario Cerritelli, Ph.D.

Dr. Mario Cerritelli has a broad interest in math and science that dates back to his early years in a New Jersey high school, where he excelled in these subjects. At Rutgers University, he took numerous scientific courses and graduated with a double major in chemistry and zoology. After college he worked for two years in the R&D laboratories of a small pharmaceutical company developing a new toothpaste for sensitive teeth. For part of this work, he was located off-site at the Columbia University School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York. It was during this time that he decided to pursue a graduate degree in molecular biology.

Photo: Mario Cerritelli, Ph.D.

Dr. Cerritelli received his Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and conducted research at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y. Subsequently, Dr. Alasdair Steven recruited him to the NIAMS to work in the Laboratory of Structural Biology Research (LSBR). While there, he made critical contributions to the understanding of viral structure and maturation, including a landmark Cell paper showing for the first time how phage DNA is packed inside the viral head. His work has been featured on the cover of this and other journals over the years. In addition to his research in the LSBR, he also got involved in the mentoring of fellows and students, and participated in many of the Institute’s outreach initiatives. In 2002, after a formal national search, he was selected as chief of the newly created NIAMS Career Development Section, where he has developed an outstanding training program. During his tenure at the NIH, Dr. Cerritelli received a number of honors and awards.

Dr. Cerritelli and his wife, also a NIH career scientist, moved from Long Island to Bethesda with their seven-month-old daughter. Today, the family has grown to a total of five children, ages 7 - 16. When it comes to guiding the fellows and students in the NIAMS, Dr. Cerritelli is often complimented for his patience and nurturing character. In response, he is often quick to point out, “Having five children at home has helped me to improve my communication skills.”

In this issue of IRPartners, Dr. Cerritelli responds to several questions regarding the NIAMS Career Development Section.

Q. What is the goal of the NIAMS Career Development Section?

A. We strive to provide all NIAMS fellows and students with an exceptional training program and an overall enjoyable and productive experience in our Intramural Research Program. The CDS provides guidance and advice in all matters regarding NIAMS fellows’ training and mentoring, and assists with all aspects of career development, following established and innovative ways to enhance their educational experience.

Q. What types of training opportunities are available at NIAMS?

A. The NIAMS IRP is dedicated to training a new generation of scientists. We actively seek candidates at all stages in their careers who want to learn the latest advances in basic and clinical research. We offer numerous training opportunities to high school students, college students, and graduate and medical students, through our summer and year-round fellowship programs. Postdoctoral fellowships provide the opportunity for recent doctoral recipients to enhance their research skills in NIAMS labs. The Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program trains physicians wishing to pursue careers in biomedical or translational research. We also offer postbaccalaureate training in our laboratories and clinics, including at our community health center located in Washington, D.C.

Q. What resources do you offer?

A. The CDS offers a global approach to career development, one that includes the development of career skills tailored to the individual needs of the fellow. We organize lectures, discussions and workshops on topics relevant to career development, such as scientific communication, knowledge of grants and negotiation strategies, teaching, job hunting and networking. We also maintain a collection of career books and training materials that can be borrowed or viewed online via a virtual bookcase that even offers an online checkout option. Our approach to individualized career development includes one-on-one counseling focusing on the more practical aspects of careers and success to help young scientists develop a roadmap or plan that is custom designed around their specific needs and interests. After an evaluation process that provides feedback and help in assessing one’s specific strengths and weaknesses, I provide advice on job options and opportunities that fit well with the individual’s lifestyle and temperament.

Q. Can you describe some of your program’s outreach efforts?

A. The goal in many of our outreach efforts is to encourage young students to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences and to create a workforce at NIAMS that reflects the rich diversity of our nation. Besides some of our more established programs, such as our Adopt-a-School activities, minority research conference exhibits and career fair presentations, we are always exploring new approaches to develop a greater community awareness and appreciation of science and scientific research careers, and to encourage the public to pursue training in these areas. This past year we started several exciting initiatives, one involving a partnership with the Montgomery County Police Activities League (PAL) where we worked with “at risk” children to highlight academic achievement and provide them with research scientists as positive role models. It was great to see the glow of excitement in the faces of these children as they toured NIAMS laboratories, attended a lecture on the immune system and constructed 3-D models based on virus design. Another new initiative involves the newly formed NIH Warrior Transition Team. This NIH-wide initiative, headed by Dr. John O’Shea and me, is designed to provide wounded service members with the opportunity to transition back into the workforce. While undergoing treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, participants can train at the NIH on a part-time basis until they are ready to seek full-time permanent employment.

Q. Why is mentoring important to the young scientist?

A. If you ask most successful scientists about their career path, they can always point to people to whom they go for advice: their “mentors.” This trusted circle of friends and advisors acts much like the board of directors of a corporation that assists management with major decisions. The major difference here is that this board is composed of mentors whose only interest in serving is seeing that the fellow is successful. While most young scientists have a research advisor, many fellows find that they need more advice than can comfortably be given by their advisor, or that their advisor is not comfortable with this role. Moreover, it’s helpful to have advice from several different sources. The Career Development Section challenges fellows to examine their strengths and weaknesses through the mentoring process.

Q. Can you tell us about the NIAMS Summer Internship Program?

A. The NIAMS Summer Internship Program provides an unparalleled opportunity for high school students, undergraduates and graduate and medical students to spend a summer working side by side with some of our most accomplished scientists in an environment that has a rich history of training leaders in the fields of biomedical research. These students are exposed to a basic science curriculum, career development skills, training options and discussions of ongoing IRP research. In addition, we have many fun and exciting field trips and on-campus social activities that promote networking.

Q. What is the most rewarding aspect of your position?

A. I get great pleasure out of helping fellows and students realize their fullest potential and leading them down their unique paths to success. The young scientists bring a new exciting perspective and youthful energy into our research program. There are just so many choices and options. I help direct, give advice and provide the tools they need for lifelong success.


Interactive Web Tool Offers Bone Checkup and Osteoporosis Prevention Steps for Adults

Check Up On Your Bones Web Tool

Now, people can give their bones a checkup using NIAMS’ interactive Web tool called Check Up On Your Bones. Based on information from Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General, the Web tool is designed to help people understand how the information in this important public health report relates to them as individuals.

Visitors to Check Up On Your Bones are invited to fill out a 5-minute personal profile, which the Web tool uses to create individualized information about each person’s risk factors for osteoporosis as well as those factors that protect their bones. The tool also generates personalized information on steps they can take to keep their bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis, a summary sheet to share with the doctor, and a list of additional Web resources tailored to their profile.

The personal profile asks about factors related to people’s risk for osteoporosis, including gender and age; family history of osteoporosis and broken bones; lifestyle habits, including diet and exercise; and other medical conditions and medications that can negatively impact bones. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and break easily, but it can often be prevented by adopting lifelong habits to protect bone health.

“We tend to take our bones for granted and think osteoporosis will never happen to us,” said NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D. “We think people who use this tool will learn a lot about their bones and many will be surprised to discover that they have some risk factors for osteoporosis. Hopefully, they will be motivated to take better care of their bones as a result.”

The Web tool is designed for adults aged 19 and older. Information provided on the site is relevant for both men and women and for people of diverse races and ethnicities. The personal information that visitors provide on the Check Up On Your Bones Web site is private. It is not saved, and visitors are not asked for their names. The Web tool can be found at


Ankylosing Spondylitis Study Seeks Answers, Shares Knowledge

Dr. Michael Ward (l) a rheumatologist with NIAMS, shows CC patient Christian Drobnyk his X-rays and the places on his spine affected by ankylosing spondylitis.

When Christian Drobnyk was about ten years old, he began experiencing arthritis pain, mostly in his neck, but also in his pelvis. His mother began doing research into what might be wrong. Doctors found that Drobnyk carried a specific gene marker, HLA-B27, which is linked to a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). The disease causes spinal joint inflammation, which over time causes the bones of the spine to fuse, resulting in difficulty performing daily activities. Although all the indications suggested that he might have AS, Drobnyk’s symptoms didn’t line up for an AS diagnosis for another 10 years. During this time, Drobnyk just wanted to figure out how to get back outside and play soccer.

Through a local support group for the Spondylitis Association of America, Drobnyk met Dr. Michael Ward, a rheumatologist with NIAMS and principal investigator for a study of the genetic determinants of the severity of AS. Drobnyk said he was happy to come to the NIH Clinical Center to participate in Ward’s study “to contribute to research so that the people who grow up after me figure out what’s going on more quickly and know how severe the condition is going to be.”

Three-fourths of patients with AS are men, and the disease typically begins between the ages of 15 and 35. Inflammation and fusion often start in the sacroiliac joint of the pelvis and low back and later affect other parts of the spine. Bone fusion does not occur in everyone with spondylitis, but in severe cases the spine fuses solidly, often resulting in a forward-stooped posture. AS patients must take care when exercising or driving, as their backs and necks are fragile.

AS is not a rare disease—one in every 1,000 people have it—but it can take several years to diagnose because of the difficulty distinguishing mechanical back pain from the inflammatory arthritis of AS. AS is more prevalent than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined. AS patients may also develop other inflammatory conditions, such as heart valve disease, inflammatory bowel disease and uveitis, an eye inflammation.

Treatments for its symptoms include physical therapy and exercise to preserve joint motion and flexibility, over-the-counter and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), and anti-TNF alpha drugs. There are currently no medications that are known to halt the fusion process, and patients progress at different rates, so developing a customized treatment plan can be difficult. Ward hopes the study will provide physicians with genetic markers to predict whether a patient will have a slight or severe progression of the disease and assist in treatment recommendations.

Patients enrolled in the study come to the NIH Clinical Center every six months for examination of the joints, measurement of flexibility of the spine, and blood tests. X-rays are taken periodically. The study seeks to identify genes and genetic markers associated with AS and genes that influence the severity of AS. The HLA-B27 gene marker is present in 80 to 90 percent of individuals with the disorder. It is believed that several other genes also increase a person’s risk of AS, but AS is not directly passed from parent to child.

Although Ward’s protocol does not provide treatment, Drobnyk said that building knowledge for himself and future patients through the study was a valuable experience for him. “The more you participate in the study of your own disease, the more you learn about it,” said Drobnyk, noting that Dr. Ward answered his questions and monitored him during the study. “You give and you take back.”

If you or someone you know has AS, contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office at 1-800-411-1222 or TTY 1-866-411-1010 about study #03-AR-0131. The NIH-sponsored study is available to patients in locations other than Bethesda, Md. Participating institutions include Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Texas at Houston.

This article, authored by Jenny Haliski, appeared in the August 2007 issue of NIH’s Clinical Center News.



NIAMS IRP Research in the News


JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

Anti-Malarial Drug May Reduce Diabetes Risk in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Michael Ward, M.D., of the Office of the Clinical Director, and a national team of investigators recently explored the association between the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine and the risk of diabetes mellitus in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Their findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Investigators analyzed data from the Arthritis, Rheumatism, and Aging Medical Information System (ARAMIS), a data bank with information on thousands of patients with rheumatic diseases (and healthy volunteers) followed for over 25 years. An analysis indicated that individuals with RA who had taken hydroxychloroquine had a lower risk of developing diabetes mellitus, and that this risk was further reduced the longer the drug was taken.

Wasko MC, et al. Hydroxychloroquine and risk of diabetes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. JAMA 2007;298(2):187-93.

The New England Journal of Medicine

Genes Identified That Increase Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus

Elaine Remmers, Ph.D., of the NIAMS Genomics Section and her colleagues recently reported on genes that increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (TRAF1-C5) and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosis (STAT4). Their findings were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The success of this work has been attributed to the uncommon and longstanding collaboration between NIAMS intramural researchers and scientists the Institute supports throughout the country. (Both studies were further strengthened by contributions from researchers in Sweden.) Scientists view the identification of these genes as a significant advancement that could lead to an enhanced ability to develop more specific diagnostic tests and therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and, potentially, other autoimmune diseases.

Remmers EF, et al. STAT4 and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. NEJM 2007;357:977-986.

Plenge RM, et al. TRAF1-C5 as a risk locus for rheumatoid arthritis - a genomewide study. NEJM 2007;357:1199-1209.


Scientists Gain New Insights into Immune-Regulating Cells

Arian Laurence, Ph.D., and his colleagues in the NIAMS Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch recently reported important findings related to the control of autoimmune T cells. Their discoveries, described in the journal Immunity, have largely to do with a cytokine, or chemical messenger, called interleukin-2 (IL-2). 
IL-2 has been seen as a stimulator of the immune system (it is used in the treatment of some cancers), but it also has inhibitory effects. Mice lacking IL-2 die from autoimmune disease. The team found that IL-2 inhibits autoimmunity by acting on different T cells with opposing functions.

Laurence A, et al. Interleukin-2 signaling via STAT5 constrains T helper 17 cell generation. Immunity 2007;26(3):371-381.

Nature (International Weekly Journal of Science)

Scientists Discover Role of Enzyme in DNA Repair

Investigators in the NIAMS Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch, led by Rafael Casellas, Ph.D., made an important discovery about the role of an enzyme called ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein (ATM) in the body’s ability to repair damaged DNA. (Casellas’ research focuses largely on certain genes that are deliberately broken and repaired as part of the immune response.) Investigators deduced that ATM enzymatic activity interfered with the process of transcription near areas of DNA damage, ensuring repair in an undisturbed environment. This leaves open the possibility that, in the absence of these factors, DNA repair is compromised – leading to genetic aberrations. The work, reported in Nature, was a collaborative effort with the National Cancer Institute.

Kruhlak M, et al. The ATM repair pathway inhibits RNA polymerase I transcription in response to chromosome breaks. Nature 2007;447:730-734.


Study Sheds Light on Allergic Reaction Anaphylaxis

Ana Olivera, Ph.D., and her colleagues in the NIAMS Molecular Inflammation Section recently reported that mice with high blood levels of the molecule sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) were very susceptible to anaphylaxis: a severe – and potentially fatal – allergic response. Their findings were reported in the journal Immunity. The team worked with mice that could not produce sphingosine kinase 1 or sphingosine kinase 2 (also called Sphk1 and Sphk2), two proteins that mast cells activate when confronted by allergens. When the team compared the responses of these mice with those of normal mice, they found that anaphylaxis severity correlated with circulating S1P levels. Investigators also learned that Sphk2 is required for producing S1P in mast cells, whereas S1P circulating in the bloodstream is dependent on Sphk1. Sphk2 is also necessary for calcium influx and protein kinase C activation, two critical elements involved in the mast cells’ release of their allergen-fighting substances.

Olivera A, et al. The sphingosine kinase-sphingosine-1-phosphate axis is a determinant of mast cell function and anaphylaxis. Immunity 2007;26:287-297.


NIAMS and Community Partners Celebrate Sixth Anniversary

From left to right: NIAMS Clinical Director, Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D.; Jesus Lopez, United Planning Organization; Juan Mendoza, NIH Clinical Center, Nursing and Patient Care Services, Office of Research and Practive Development Service; and Jose Aponte, Unity Health Care, Inc.

Community partners joined NIAMS researchers at the NIAMS Health Partnership Program Community Partners Meeting on July 10. During the meeting, NIAMS staff provided updates on the Health Partnership Program (HPP) 5-Year Plan, introduced a new research protocol at the NIAMS Community Health Center (CHC), and reviewed the patient enrollment criteria for clinical studies at the CHC. Partners and NIAMS staff also discussed strategies to improve minority access to health care and clinical trials. This meeting was followed by a 6th anniversary celebration of the CHC. Since the opening of the NIAMS CHC in July 2001, more than 1,500 new patients have been enrolled into the Natural History Study of Rheumatic Diseases in Minorities.

The community partners helped NIAMS create the HPP, a community-based research initiative, and helped establish the CHC in Washington, D.C. The partners provide the HPP with insight into the community’s needs and concerns about health care and research. They also share resources to help the HPP operate effectively in the community.

NIAMS Community Health Center

The NIAMS has set up the NIAMS Community Health Center to help doctors and scientists understand the causes of rheumatic diseases and why many of these diseases occur more often and more severely in certain minority communities.

With this information, we can find better ways to treat and prevent these diseases. There are no experimental treatments or medications being used at the Community Health Center. Call 202–673–0000 for information.


Honors and Awards

O’Shea Receives First “Making A Difference” Award

Photo: John J. O’Shea, M.D.

John J. O’Shea, M.D., scientific director of the NIAMS IRP and chief of the Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch and the Lymphocyte Cell Biology Section, received the first NIH Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management “Making a Difference” award. The honor was in recognition of “his strong advocacy efforts for diversity across the NIH and his outstanding example of the creative possibilities for enhancing diversity within his Institute.” The award was presented at the NIAMS Intramural Research Program Retreat in May. In the photo above, Dr. O’Shea is shown addressing the audience after receiving the honor.

Morasso Serves as Mentor for Women’s Health Internship Program

Photo: Maria I. Morasso, Ph.D.

Maria I. Morasso, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Developmental Skin Biology Unit at NIAMS, recently served as a mentor for the Women’s Health Summer Internship Program funded by the Foundation for the NIH through a grant from Clinique. In summer 2007, three college students were chosen to join this program through a rigorous selection process among many competitive candidates. The training involved 8 to 10 weeks of intensive biomedical research experience.

One of the three interns, Jean Suh, worked with Dr. Morasso. Suh was then a freshman from the John Hopkins University, majoring in biomedical engineering. In Morasso’s lab, Suh worked directly under postdoctoral fellow Olivier Duverger, Ph.D., studying genetics of skin cells of mice. Her experience at NIH also included instruction on lab safety, a lecture series and career development workshops. At the end of the program, Suh and the other two interns presented their projects at a poster day. Said Morasso, “It is a wonderful program; I would recommend it to any students with special interests in skin biology.”

Siegel Inducted into ASCI

Photo: Richard M. Siegel, M.D., Ph.D.

NIAMS’ Richard M. Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., was recently elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), “an honor society of physician-scientists, those who translate findings in the laboratory to the advancement of clinical practice.” Siegel, group leader of the Immunoregulation Group in NIAMS’ Autoimmunity Branch, was one of sixty new members inducted at the ASCI’s annual meeting in April. His current research interests include the regulation of cellular survival and death in the immune system by TNF family receptors, and the manipulation of these signaling pathways to treat autoimmune diseases. Siegel has also been active in student training, directing the trans-NIH MD/PhD partnership training program.


NIAMS Introduces Bone Health CD-ROM

cover of Bone Health Information for You and Your Patients CD-ROM

NIAMS is now offering Bone Health Information for You and Your Patients on a CD-ROM. This CD-ROM was created to give health professionals and the general public easy access to the latest information on bone health and diseases. In the last decade, medical research has influenced a rapid advancement in treatment options for many diseases of bone. Through this CD, we hope to help a variety of audiences learn more about bone diseases and strategies to optimize bone health.

This CD-ROM includes:

  • A collection of print-friendly PDF files of selected patient education brochures
  • Professional educational resources, including the full text of Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General
  • Web links to current clinical trials and numerous useful resources from NIH, other federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Free copies are available to anyone upon request. Health professionals, patients and family members, and health educators will find this CD particularly useful. To order a free copy of the CD-ROM, contact the NIAMS Clearinghouse at 1-877-22-NIAMS (1-877- 226-4267), or or visit


NIAMS Welcomes New Staff Members

NIAMS welcomes several new staff members to the Health Partnership Program and Cardozo Community Health Center:

Photo: Heather Christensen, M.S., N.P.

Heather Christensen, M.S., N.P., joined NIAMS this year as the nurse practitioner for the NIAMS’ Community Health Center (CHC). Though much of her training is in primary care, she has also received specialty training in orthopaedics, dermatology, occupational health and urgent care. Heather hails from San Francisco, where she graduated from a Masters of Science program at the University of California, San Francisco. Considering her role at the CHC, Heather shares, “I am really looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge that I have gained in my clinical and educational experiences to my position as nurse practitioner here at the CHC. I am hoping that the time I spend here at NIAMS will further enrich my understanding of this interesting field, how rheumatologic conditions affect our unique patient population, and how to improve patients’ quality of life.” Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, she worked in environmental toxicology on clinical research projects investigating health conditions of former nuclear test site workers.

Photo: Melissa Fellman

Melissa Fellman is the Spanish interpreter at the Community Health Center. When she is not working with the patients and doctors at the CHC, Melissa assists with administrative duties such as scheduling patients, maintaining the library of health information, and conducting her own research gathering demographic information on the more than 1,500 patients treated at the CHC. Melissa comes to NIAMS as a recipient of an Intramural Research Training Award, a prestigious and competitive fellowship program to train postbaccalaureates in basic or applied biomedical research. Melissa received her undergraduate degree in 2006 from the University of Pennsylvania, and is applying for entrance into an MD/MPH program for Fall 2008. Melissa has served as a Spanish translator for more than five years at various free medical clinics. What makes Cardozo different from the other clinics, Melissa says, is that “we are able to offer patients state-of-the-art health care, and on a regular basis. Patients know that we are here to allow them to regain functioning, decrease pain, and improve their lives overall. As the reputation of the clinic grows and patients come in earlier in their disease progression, we can begin to provide early treatment for patients with rheumatic diseases and thus change the idea of what it means to have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or osteoarthritis in this community.”

Photo: Mark F. Gourley, M.D.

Mark F. Gourley, M.D., joined the NIAMS as the director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, and is overseeing clinical care at the NIAMS Cardozo Community Health Center. “The NIAMS CHC is more than a doctor’s office,” Dr. Gourley stated. “It is a team of health care professionals that provides exceptional rheumatology care to individuals who may otherwise not have access to this specialized service.” Dr. Gourley served as a staff clinician at the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), where he worked with a team of researchers investigating environmental causes of lupus and other autoimmune diseases. His research interest in lupus began in 1988 when he first joined NIH/NIAMS. He left NIAMS in 1996 to open the Greater Washington, D.C. area’s first lupus clinic at the Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Gourley is a 1985 graduate of Tulane Medical School and completed his internal medicine residency in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin.

Photo: Mimi Lising, M.P.H.

NIAMS welcomes Mimi Lising, M.P.H., to the Office of Communications and Public Liaison. Mimi took over after Kelli Carrington’s departure to manage the NIAMS Health Partnership Program. She also serves as a multicultural health educator for NIAMS, helping to expand its library of health information for racial and ethnic minority groups. “What makes NIAMS unique,” Mimi reflects, “is that even though it is the world’s leader in biomedical research in joint, bone, skin, and muscle diseases, NIAMS still keeps its roots in the community by serving the health needs of people in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area through the Community Health Center.” Mimi was a former NIH presidential management intern and a public health educator with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, where she helped to establish the National Kidney Disease Education Program and the National Diabetes Education Program. Before joining NIAMS, Mimi worked at Kaiser Permanente, creating patient and health professional education materials for such conditions as diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease and chronic pain. Mimi is originally from Southern California, where she graduated with a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


NIAMS Launches Booklet About Bursitis and Tendinitis

cover of Questions and Answers About Bursitis and Tendinitis

Bursitis and tendinitis are both common conditions that involve inflammation of the soft tissue around muscles and bones, most often in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee or ankle. NIAMS recently released the brochure Questions and Answers About Bursitis and Tendinitis. The booklet provides a comprehensive overview of bursitis and tendinitis, including the causes and types, how these conditions are diagnosed and treated, and current research directions.

To order a free copy of the brochure, contact the NIAMS Clearinghouse at 1-877-22-NIAMS (1-877-226-4267), or or visit


National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases/NIH
Building 31, Room 4C02
31 Center Drive, MSC 2350
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350

Produced by the National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases/NIH

Office of Communications and Public Liaison

Building 31, Room 4C02
31 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-496-8190
Fax: 301-480-2814
Web site:

Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Director

John O'Shea, M.D., Scientific Director

Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Director

Janet S. Austin, Ph.D., OCPL Director

Ray Fleming, Editor

Trish Reynolds, Associate Editor

Mimi Lising, Sharon Nouzari Louis, Ping Wang

Last Reviewed: