Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Rheumatology T32 Training Grant

Our Mission:

There is a critical need to train highly competent MD and PhD investigators to conduct patient-oriented research leading to improved care for patients with arthritis and related conditions. The shortage of clinical research trainees has reached crisis proportions in academic medicine and this urgent situation is especially pertinent for Rheumatology research trainees. The long-term, overriding, goal of the Northwestern University Rheumatology Research Training Program is to nurture motivated, bright, enthusiastic, well-trained, academically-oriented MDs and PhDs in their pursuit of careers in Rheumatology investigation, training them to become the next generation of leaders in research. 

The specific objectives of this training grant are:

  • to develop clinical and basic research scientists, who will ultimately be capable of independently performing hypothesis-driven research that addresses the needs of out target patient population;  
  • to provide stipend support and protected time for research trainees;
  • to sustain and improve an administrative structure that enhances the training environment;
  • to provide both basic and clinical science trainees a rigorous base of classroom study in the disciplines necessary for successfully conducting research relevant to disease etiology, pathogenesis, outcomes, and for the provision of innovative care to patients with arthritis, musculoskeletal, and autoimmune disorders;
  • to continue an ongoing evaluation process, modifying the program when appropriate to fully meet its goals and objectives.
 

Richard M. Pope, MD

Richard M. Pope, MD
Program Director

Diana Carandang
Division Administrator

 Program Eligibility and Application Process

Rhematology is currently recruiting qualified fellows for the current academic year. Please complete our online application to be considered for a slot.

Program Eligibility

The Rheumatology T32 has training slots available each year for two postdoctoral trainees (MD or PhD) who support the research mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Trainees must possess an MD PhD, or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution, may work in the laboratory of one of the T32 mentors and must meet NRSA citizenship and support requirements:

  • Citizenship: Any individual to be trained must be a citizen or noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. 
  • NRSA Support: No individual trainee may receive more than five years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level and three years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants and individual fellowships.

For more information on NRSA eligibility requirements, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement on Kirschstein NRSAs.

Postdoctoral Appointments

Postdoctoral appointments will begin after committee review. T32 funding is for U.S. citizens or permanent residents (in accordance with NIH policy). Individuals from underrepresented groups and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Process and Deadlines

Application materials should include a CV, a two-page research proposal and a support letter from at least one potential mentor at Northwestern. The potential mentor’s support letter should describe the training plan for the applicant, including an overview of funding and other students working in the lab. Please complete our online application to be considered for a slot.

 Participating Mentors

View a list of current primary and secondary mentors who participate in the Rheumatology T32.

Name/Degree(s)

Primary (& Secondary) Appointment(s)

Role in Program

Research Interest

Cella, David, PhD

Medical Social Sciences
(Institute for Healthcare Studies)

Primary

Mentor

Quality of life (QOL) measurement in chronic illnesses. The impact of chronic illness treatment. 

Chang, Rowland, MD, MPH

Preventive Medicine
(Medicine - Rheumatology)

(Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)

Co-Director

Executive Committee Member

Primary

Mentor

Arthritis public health research, physical activity and the prevention of arthritis related disability 

Dunlop, Dorothy, PhD

Medicine - Rheumatology
(Institute for Healthcare Studies)

Primary

Mentor

Epidemiology of arthritis, research on aging, statistical methods for longitudinal data 

Hersam, Mark, PhD

Materials Science and Engineering
(Chemistry)

(Medicine)

Primary

Mentor

Scanning probe microscopy; semiconductor surfaces; nanoelectronics; nanophotonics; sensors; carbon nanotubes; graphene 

Liu, Kiang, PhD

Preventive Medicine
(Medicine)

(Medicine - Geriatric Medicine)

Primary

Mentor

Cardiovascular epidemiology and statistical methodology for epidemiologic research 

Pachman, Lauren, MD

Pediatrics

Primary

Mentor

Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) 

Perlman, Harris, PhD

Medicine - Rheumatology

Executive Committee Member

Primary

Mentor

The role of cell cycle and apoptosis regulators in autoimmune disease 

Pope, Richard, MD

Medicine - Rheumatology

Program Director

Primary

Mentor

Basic mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); defining mechanisms that protect against apoptosis in the RA joint; characterizing the role of endogenous TLR ligands in the persistent activation of RA synovial macrophages. 

Ramsey-Goldman, Rosalind, MD, DrPH

Medicine - Rheumatology

Co-Director

Executive Committee Member

Primary

Mentor

Autoimmune diseases, epidemiology, osteoporosis, rheumatology, women's health -- epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus, pregnancy and rheumatic diseases, steroid-induced osteoporosis, clinical drug trials in lupus 

Schnitzer, Thomas, MD, PhD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
(Medicine - Rheumatology)

Primary

Mentor

Osteoporosis, Rheumatology, Health Services Research -- osteoarthritis, pain, clinical trial methodology 

Sharma, Leena, MD

Medicine - Rheumatology

Primary

Mentor

Epidemiology of knee osteoarthritis, identification of risk factors for incident OA, progressive OA, function decline, and worsening of disability 

Stehlik, Christian, PhD

Medicine - Rheumatology

Primary

Mentor

Molecular mechanisms of inflammatory and infectious disease 

Varga, John, MD

Medicine - Rheumatology

Primary

Mentor

Fibrosis (scarring) that results from tissue injury in the lungs, kidney, liver, and in association with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in multiple organs 

Barrett, Terrence, MD

Medicine - Gastroenterology
(Microbiology - Immunology)

(Surgery)

Secondary

Mentor

Mechanisms of stem cell activation in colitis 

Brown, Calvin, MD

Medicine - Rheumatology

Executive Committee Member

Secondary

Mentor

Education in the rheumatic diseases, sports medicine, and disability evaluation 

Budinger, G.R. Scott, MD

Medicine - Pulmonary and Critical Care
(Cell and Molecular Biology)

Secondary

Mentor

Inhaled particulates, acute respiratory failure, hyperoxic lung injury, lung cell apoptosis 

Chandel, Navdeep, PhD

Medicine - Pulmonary and Critical Care
(Cell and Molecular Biology)

Secondary

Mentor

Apoptosis, oxygen sensing, mitochondria, oxidant stress 

Chmiel, Joan, PhD

Preventive Medicine

Secondary

Mentor

Biostatistics; Clinical Trial Methodology; Epidemiology; HIV Infection; Osteoarthritis; Public Health 

Cook-Mills, Joan, PhD

Medicine - Allergy-Immunology

Secondary

Mentor

Endothelial cell function during allergic disease 

Fang, Deyu, PhD

Pathology

Secondary

Mentor

Genetic, proteomic, molecular biology and immunological approaches to dissect the molecular networks underlying the regulation of immune response and autoimmunity 

Feinglass, Joseph, PhD

Medicine - General Internal Medicine
(Institute for Healthcare Studies)

(Preventive Medicine)

Secondary

Mentor

Quality of care and patient safety, health policy, patient outcomes research, health disparities 

Goolsby, Charles, PhD

Pathology

Secondary

Mentor

Diagnostic flow cytometry; Hematopoieitc malignancy biology 

Greenland, Philip, MD

Preventive Medicine
(Medicine)

Secondary

Mentor

Cardiovascular diseases, preventive medicine, cardiology, cardiovascular imaging, epidemiology, public health, wellness and fitness, women's health -- lipid management, preventive cardiology, prevention and prediction of cardiovascular diseases 

Heinemann, Allen, PhD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
(Institute for Healthcare Studies)

Secondary

Mentor

Health services research, psychosocial aspects of rehabilitation including substance abuse, and measurement issues in rehabilitation 

Klein-Gitelman, Marisa, MD

Pediatrics
(Medicine - Rheumatology)

Executive Committee Member

Secondary

Mentor

Lupus, arthritis, health service utilization 

Langman, Craig, MD

Pediatrics

Secondary

Mentor

Genetic and acquired bone diseases of infants, children, and adolescents, and the effects of bone-specific therapy; osteodystrophy of chronic kidney disease; kidney stone diseases 

Manheim, Larry, PhD

Institute for Healthcare Studies
(Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)

Secondary

Mentor

Health economics, aging  

Mohr, David, PhD

Preventive Medicine

Secondary

Mentor

Development and evaluation of interventions for the treatment and prevention of depression and stress; psychological and behavioral treatments can affect disease outcomes or markers 

Muller, William, MD, PhD

Pathology

Secondary

Mentor

Leukocyte-enothelial cell interactions in inflammation 

Peter, Marcus, PhD

Medicine - Hematology / Oncology

Secondary

Mentor

The research focuses on 2 fields. The lab studies the function of death receptor CD95/Fas as an apoptosis inducing receptor and as a promotor of cancer growth. The other main focus involves the study of microRNAs and their function in cancer progression  

Platanias, Leonidas, MD, PhD

Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
(Medicine)

Secondary

Mentor

Cytokine-signaling in malignant cells and mechanisms of signal transduction and arsenic trioxide 

Ruderman, Eric, MD

Medicine - Rheumatology

Secondary

Mentor

Clinical management of rheumatoid arthritis and the development of new therapies 

Rymer, William, MD, PhD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
(Biomedical Engineering)

(Physiology)

Secondary

Mentor

Neural control and biomechanics of movement studied in human models, in normal preparations, and in disease states 

Schleimer, Robert, PhD

Medicine - Allergy-Immunology

Secondary

Mentor

Mechanisms of pathogenesis in allergic disease, role of cytokines and chemokines, mechanism of action of glucocorticoids, role of innate and adaptive immune responses in airways, translational investigations in humans to molecular biological assessment 

Schnaper, H. William, MD

Pediatrics

Secondary

Mentor

Cellular signal transduction mechanisms related to fibrogenesis 

Spring, Bonnie, PhD

Preventive Medicine
(Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

(Psychology)

Secondary

Mentor

Behavioral and e-technology intervention to improve health risk behaviors, including smoking, poor quality diet, physical inactivity, and stress. Health Communication. Evidence-based practice 

Stern, Paula, PhD

Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry

Secondary

Mentor

Mechanisms of bone formation and resorption. 

Wang, Xiaobin, MD, MPH, ScD

Pediatrics

Secondary

Mentor

Molecular epidemiology and GxE interactions in complex diseases with childhood origins 

Zhou, Liang, PhD

Pathology
(Microbiology - Immunology)

Secondary

Mentor

Understanding 1) the molecular mechanisms of cytokine signaling pathways that lead to different T cell lineage fates; 2) the transcriptional networks of Th17 and Treg cell differentiation; 3) the function of Th17 cells in autoimmunity and infection 

 T32 Executive Committee

Meet the members of the Rheumatology T32 Executive Committee.

 Current Trainees

Meet current trainees and learn more about their research projects.

Chase CorreiaChase Correia, MD

MD: University of Nevada School of Medicine
Residency:
Loyola University Chicago Residency - Chief Resident
Research Interest: To determine if deep neural network analysis of skin biopsies from patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) can predict progression of SSc skin and lung disease.

Hadijat M. MakindeHadijat M. Makinde, PhD

Undergrad: University of Illinois at Chicago
PhD: Rush University Medical Center
Research Interest: Monocytes/macrophages initiate the pathogenesis of TBI-induced immune dysfuction by creating and driving a systemic anti-inflammatory milieu resulting in increased infectious mortality after TBI.

Julia L. M. Dunn, PhD

Undergrad: Denison University
PhD: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Research Interest: To compare and contrast the roles of resident and recruited macrophages in the onset of fibrosis.

 Program Expectations and Frequently Asked Questions

See a list of expectations and get answers to frequently asked questions.

How do I know what funds I have available to spend?

Each trainee receives some funds for travel and research supplies. Full details are outlined in the trainee’s appointment letter. Trainees will receive regular updates regarding the status of travel and supply funds.

How may I spend my supply and travel budget?

As a general guide, allowable expenses include lab supplies (e.g. pipettes, test tubes), other research-related expenses (e.g. research subject costs), specific project-related software (e.g. statistical analysis software), annual memberships and license fees and domestic travel to research conferences. Unallowable expenses include general office supplies (paper, pens), large equipment and computers (e.g. autoclave, laptop), general software (e.g. Microsoft programs, Adobe Acrobat), memberships and license fees > 1 year and international travel.

May I travel to more than one conference a year?

Yes, you may travel to more than one conference or training workshop at the discretion of your mentor and providing you have sufficient funds to cover the cost. Trainees are encouraged to pursue outside travel grants to help defray the cost of attending conferences.

What is a Payback Obligation and how do I know if I incur one?

Any NRSA postdoctoral trainees or fellow incurs a payback obligation during their first year of support.  Pre-doctoral NRSA trainees do not incur a payback obligation. Payback means that you will perform qualified research or teaching activities for a length of time equal to the period of NRSA support you received. Receiving 12 months of postdoctoral training support obligates you to perform 12 months of qualified research or teaching activities as payback. Only the first year of training incurs a payback obligation; the second year of training pays back the first year, with each month of qualifying payback activity paying back one month of NRSA support. If you receive two full years of NRSA training, you will have completed your payback obligation. In general, payback activity must involve at least 20 hours per week and be conducted over 12 consecutive months. Special exceptions to these requirements may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Additional resources on Payback Obligations can be found on the NIH website:

What is expected of me as a trainee?

Requirement

1st Year of Appointment

2nd Year of Appointment

Before Accepting Appointment

  • Create Individual Development Plan (IDP) with your mentor and update every 6 months

 

Responsible Conduct of Research

  • Successful completion of “Taking Responsibility for Responsible Conduct of Research” offered by NUCATS. A certificate of completion is required

Education & Career Development Activities (e.g. grant writing, lab management, presentation skills)

  • Regular attendance at Rheumatology Grand Rounds, and/or Research in Motion
  • Regular participation in career development activities offered through Northwestern University, NUCATS, and the Bioprofessionals Career Development Program (e.g. NUCATS Grant Writing Workshops and Third Monday “Evolving the Translational Research Career” series for junior faculty)

Independent Support

  • Submission of a grant application for ongoing independent support from NIH or another major funding organization in your field by the end of the first year of support. (F award or K award).

Progress Updates & Program Evaluation

  • Meet with the Career Development & Retention Committee (CDRC) 2 times per year to review your progress
  • Submit an annual report for submission to NIH
  • Meet with Director annually to review progress
  • Submit copies of all abstracts, manuscripts, and submitted grants; IRB or IACUC approval for T32-supported research project; and (for Scholars engaged in human subjects research) documentation of successful completion of education on the protection of human subjects (i.e. CITI training)
  • Participation in anonymous program feedback and review
  • After the conclusion of T32 support, scholars will be expected to inform the NU T32 program of their positions and funding for 10 years

National Meeting

  • Attendance at ACR or similar conference

Presentations & Publications

  • Present at T32 Research Day
  • One presentation in a seminar series in your field at Northwestern University or affiliate during each year of support & present annually to your mentorship and executive committee
  • Submission of an abstract for presentation at the annual ACR or other national meeting during each year of support
  • One or more original manuscripts in press by the end of the second year of support

ACKNOWLEDGE THE T32

  • All scholarly publications related to research supported by this grant must contain the following statement: “ [SCHOLAR NAME] is supported in part by Grant Number T32 AR007611-13 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.” It is each Scholar’s responsibility to ensure that the T32 grant is properly acknowledged in press and PubMed.
  • Request a PMCID for each publication

 Trainee Resources

See a list of resources dedicated to T32 trainees.  

All trainees are encouranged to join the Department of Medicine New Investigator Career Enhancement (NICE) group and vist the NIK T32 Kiosk.

 Diversity and Inclusion

View a list of on-campus resources dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

The Department of Medicine at Northwestern University seeks to attract inquisitive, motivated residents and fellows and is committed to providing them with every opportunity for success. The greatest challenges facing the medical field are complex, and addressing them will require a diverse body of physicians and researchers who can work collaboratively. Northwestern offers unparalleled training and research opportunities and encourages fellowship applications from those who seek to become future leaders in the subspecialties of medicine.  We are committed to and inspired by a diverse and inclusive work environment that allows each trainee to achieve their personal goals.

For more information on Northwestern’s commitment to diversity please see the following resources:

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