The ORDRCC is led by Judith James, MD PhD (Principle Investigator) and Joel Guthridge, PhD. (Associate Director). Joan Merrill, MD serves as the Director of the Clinical Characterization & Biorepository Core (CCBC). Dr. Guthridge is the Director of the Human Phenotyping Core (HPC).
Dr. James has published >300 peer-reviewed publications on the early events in preclinical autoimmunity and transition to clinical disease; human humoral responses to autoantigens; genetic, environmental, and serologic predictors of autoimmune disease development; and mechanisms of disease flare. She has led or served in over 25 clinical trials, including both NIH-funded and other investigator-initiated trials. The long-term goal of these collaborative efforts is to provide knowledge and resources for natural history studies, prevention, prognostic biomarkers and new therapeutic development in rheumatic diseases.
Dr. Guthridge brings extensive leadership experience through developing and directing several core facilities, including the OMRF Biorepository, as well as serving as the Director of Translational Informatics. In these roles, he has developed, refined, and implemented cutting-edge technologies and methodologies for basic and translational research in the rheumatic diseases. His research focuses on designing and analyzing high-throughput/high content data from genetic, genomic, cellular, and proteomic analyses to support precision medicine.
Dr. Merrill is a board-certified rheumatologist and clinical researcher. Dr. Merrill is a leader in lupus clinical trial design, as she is well known for her novel clinical trial design defined in the BOLD (Biomarkers of Lupus Disease) study to investigate treatment without confounding background immunosuppressants. She has led high-enrolling clinical sites in >40 SLE interventional treatment trials, serving as Protocol Chair or lead investigator for many multicenter pharmaceutical and investigator-led trials.
Three Internal Advisors provide senior leadership to help recognize emerging strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for the ORDRCC, to provide scientific expertise, and to identify promising investigators for additional support as ORDRCC Scholars or Junior Center Investigators. The External Advisors provide expertise and insight to ensure that the ORDRCC provides critical resources to impact the forefront of rheumatic disease research.
Judith A. James, MD, PhD (Director)
Joel M. Guthridge, PhD (Associate Director)
Bridget Parrish (Administrative Contact)