October 11, 2017
New council members 2017
NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz (c) and Deputy Director Dr. Robert Carter (r) welcome new members to the institute’s council. They are (from l) Dr. Michael Yaszemski, Dr. Judith James, Rosemary Markoff, and Dr. Michael Econs.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) welcomes four new members to its National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council. The council serves as the principal advisory body to NIAMS, the lead federal agency for research on bones, joints, muscles and skin.

The NIAMS council comprises scientific and lay members who have expertise in the mission areas of the institute. Members serve a four-year term and meet three times per year to provide advice to the institute on broad policy issues, and make recommendations on research proposals.

“I am pleased to welcome these distinguished individuals to the council,” said NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D. “They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of immunology, endocrinology, orthopaedics, genetics, and patient advocacy.”

Michael J. Econs, M.D., is the Glenn W. Irwin, Jr. Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Econs’ primary area of research is in the genetic aspects of metabolic bone diseases. Much of his lab’s efforts are keyed to using positional cloning techniques to locate and clone genes that are responsible for these disorders.

Judith A. James, M.D., Ph.D., is Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Chair of the Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Dr. James’ research aims to understand the etiology and pathogenic mechanisms of systemic autoimmune, rheumatic diseases, with a special interest in minority groups.   

Michael J. Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Orthopaedics and Bioengineering, and Director of the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic. His clinical practice includes spinal surgery and oncologic surgery of the spine, sacrum and pelvis. Dr. Yaszemski’s research focuses on the development of biodegradable scaffold polymers to support bone and spinal cord regeneration using tissue engineering strategies.

Rosemary J. Markoff began her career in accounting until a diagnosis of scleroderma led her down a path towards patient advocacy and disease awareness. She became actively involved in the Scleroderma Foundation and has served in numerous leadership roles over the last 15 years.  Ms. Markoff’s focus is in the areas of patient education, patient support, and research throughout the scleroderma community. 

The next meeting of the NIAMS council will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. on the NIH campus. The meeting will be available on videocast at http://www.videocast.nih.gov.

The mission of the NIAMS, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about the NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS website at https://www.niams.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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