The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has appointed four new members to its Advisory Council. The council comprises scientific and lay members who have expertise in the mission areas of the institute.
Council members provide advice to the institute on broad policy issues, and make recommendations on research proposals. The NIAMS is part of the National Institutes of Health.
New council members include:
• Michelle Hofhine, R.N., vice president of marketing, Accredited Home Care Services, Woodland Hills, Calif., has extensive experience providing patient care, serving as a case manager, and overseeing various departments in the health care field.
She manages marketing representatives throughout Southern California, and is also responsible for business development, including home telehealth for monitoring high-risk patient populations.
Hofhine's community outreach includes a pilot study to decrease re-hospitalization of home health clients. Hofhine is a parent of a child with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease.
• Katherine Mathews, M.D., professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, has had a longstanding interest in the muscular dystrophies, and a commitment to finding improved treatment through better understanding of pathogenesis.
She has become increasingly involved in collaborative clinical research efforts, many of which are laying the groundwork for clinical trials. Mathews' research career began with using genetic linkage, then a mouse model, to identify the gene causing facioscapulohumeral dystrophy.
Her current academic efforts have been focused on improving the quality of care for patients with neuromuscular disease. She provides treatment for the majority of the pediatric neuromuscular patients, and many of the adult muscular dystrophy patients, in the state of Iowa.
• Elizabeth Smith, patient advocate for juvenile arthritis, Burke, Va., is also a kindergarten and pre-school teacher. She is the mother of six children and became involved with juvenile arthritis in 1994 when her two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Smith has volunteered for the Arthritis Foundation at the local and national level.
In 1996, she formed the first support group for juvenile arthritis parents and became a valuable resource for families of children with newly diagnosed juvenile arthritis. In 2003, she joined the Arthritis Foundation Board of Directors for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
• Xiao-Jing Wang, M.D., Ph.D., professor, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado, Denver (UCD), is also the director of the Head, Neck, and Squamous Cell Carcinomas Research Program at UCD.
She has created critical resources for evaluating the mechanisms and efficacy of existing clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of head and neck cancer, the sixth most common cancer type worldwide.
Wang's laboratory developed the first genetically engineered mouse model that mimics human head and neck cancers at both genetic and clinical levels.
She published a paper that identified a single gene deletion as the cause of 80 percent of mouse head and neck cancer tumors. This research is likely to lead to a targeted treatment for the disease in humans.