Congratulations to Judith Smith, MD, PhD, for her 2-year award of $400,000 from the Rheumatology Research Foundation for her project entitled “Analysis of causal variants in the IL-23/IL-17 pathway in axial spondyloarthritis”. Ankylosing Spondylitis and related arthritic conditions are insidiously progressive diseases that cause significant morbidity. In this translational research study, we are investigating how variations within implicated genes alter immune function in patient macrophages.
Dr. Smith was also awarded $173,551 for her 1-year project, “The Role of the Host Unfolded Protein Response in Brucella Replication” from the University of Chicago’s Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense & Emerging Infectious Disease Research (GLRCE) Program, funded by NIH-NIAID. Brucellosis is the most prevalent zoonosis worldwide and perpetuates poverty where it is endemic. This project seeks to understand the interactions between Brucella bacteria and host macrophages that allow the bacteria to survive and replicate inside cells.