Thousands of rheumatologists and health professionals rely on RheumNow for their daily dose of relevant news and information to keep them up-to-date and improve their practice. With the busy practitioner in mind, RheumNow consistently delivers rheumatology news, journal reports, social media highlights, and current opinions/perspectives from topic experts.

As part of its comprehensive meeting coverage, RheumNow’s faculty reporters and videographers are covering the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Chicago. Coverage includes a combination of feature articles, news, video reports and interviews, speaker quotes, extensive tweeting and on-site photography. This annual meeting content is packaged on RheumNow’s annual meeting microsite:

RheumNow maintains all editorial control, and has final say over what is published. Sponsors/advertisers do not approve content or editorial coverage. RheumNow’s 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting coverage sponsors are Eli Lilly and Company (rheumatoid arthritis), Horizon Pharma (gout), and Novartis (ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis).

2018 Faculty/Contributor Bios + Disclosures


Brittany Ahmed, MD: Brittany Ahmed is a native of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, and completed her medical school at  the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. She then completed her residency at the University of Kansas – Wichita, and is currently Chief Fellow in the Division of Rheumatic Diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. Her primary interests are rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory myopathies. Follow her on Twitter @missbeemd. Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Suleman Bhana, MD: Suleman Bhana is a board-certified practicing clinical rheumatologist in the Hudson Valley area of New York. He is part of the ACR tech med faculty, and the incoming chairman for the ACR communications and marketing committee. Dr. Bhana is the cofounder of The Rheumatology Podcast and cofounder of #RheumJC, a Twitter based Rheumatology Journal club. Dr. Bhana is a self-described nerd and technology enthusiast. Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Nicole Bitencourt, MD: Nicole Bitencourt, MD is currently a third year internal medicine/pediatrics rheumatology fellow at UT Southwestern. She finished her undergraduate degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins University and completed medical school and residency at Georgetown University. She did medical work in Angola for two years prior to starting fellowship. Dr. Bitencourt is especially interested in improving outcomes for patients transitioning from pediatric to adult rheumatologic care. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the globe. Disclosure statement: Nothing to disclose.


Ian Bruce, MD: Ian Bruce is a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator and Professor of Rheumatology at the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Manchester. He is Director of The NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre. Professor Bruce qualified in medicine from Queen’s University Belfast in 1988 and gained his MRCP in 1991. He trained in medicine and rheumatology in Northern Ireland and completed his MD thesis on the pathogenesis of systemic vasculitis in 1995. He was the Geoff Carr Lupus Fellow at the University of Toronto, before moving to Manchester in 1998. Disclosure: Grants/Research Support: Genzyme/Sanofi, GSK, Roche, UCB. Consultant/Advisor Fees: Eli Lilly; GSK; Medimmune; Merck Serono; UCB. Participation in Speakers’ Bureau:GSK; UCB. Honorarium: GSK; Roche; UCB; Medimmune.


Dr. Calabrese is an associate staff in the department of rheumatology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She completed a combined fellowship in rheumatology and infectious disease, and has special interests in the intersection of rheumatology and infectious diseases, immune related adverse events from checkpoint inhibitor therapy, vaccinations and HIV.  Follow her on Twitter: @CCalabreseDO. Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Jack Cush, MD: Dr. Cush is the Director of Clinical Rheumatology at the Baylor Research Institute and a Professor of Medicine and Rheumatology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He is the Executive Editor of and Co-Editor of the online textbook Dr. Cush’s research and interests include novel drug development, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, drug safety, pregnancy and Still’s disease/autoinflammatory syndromes. He has published over 140 articles and 2 books in rheumatology. He can be followed on Twitter: @RheumNow. Disclosure: Investigator for – Abbvie, Astra-Zeneca, Genentech, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer. Consultant/Advisor to Abbvie, Amgen, BMS, Celgene, Genentech, Horizon, Lilly, Novartis, UCB.


Kathryn Dao, MD: Dr. Dao is the Associate Director of Clinical Rheumatology at Baylor Research Institute in Dallas. She is in clinical practice at the Arthritis Care and Research Center in Dallas, TX and is actively involved in patient care, medical education, and clinical research.  Her interests include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Psoriatic Arthritis, Gout, Osteoporosis, Drug Safety, and Women’s Health Issues. When not covering clinical duties for Dr. Jack Cush, she blogs for RheumNow. Disclosure: Investigator for Abbvie, Astra-Zeneca, Genentech, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals.


Philip Gardiner, MD: Dr. Philip Gardiner is a Rheumatologist from N. Ireland. He was an early proponent of the potential benefits of social media to promote education in rheumatology, primarily through the use of blogs and twitter. He has an active research interest in outcome measures for axSpA, RA and PsA but he also uses conferences to keep up to date with topics important to the clinician. Disclosure: Speaker at Pfizer Advisory Board meeting 2017. Advisory Board for Genomics Medicine Ireland 2017, about to commence GMI funded project. Currently undertaking pharmaceutical studies with Abbvie products (not investigator led). Previous educational support grants to attend conferences: Novartis, Abbvie, Amgen, MSD, Roche.


Arthur Lau, MD: Dr. Arthur Lau is currently an assistant professor in the division of rheumatology at McMaster University, Canada. He obtained his medical degree from McMaster University. He also completed his internal medicine and rheumatology training at McMaster University. He then completed the clinical investigator program, concurrently obtaining an MSc in health research methodology through McMaster. He is one of the founding partners of the William G Bensen Centre for Arthritis Excellence and serves as its medical director. His clinical and research interest focuses on the screening and treatment of osteoporosis, and models of care to improve the screening and treatment of inflammatory arthritis. Disclosure: Honorarium/Speaker Bureau: Abbvie, Amgen, BMS, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Janssen, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, UCB. Clinical trials: Abbvie, Amgen, Janssen, UCB.


David Liew, MD: David Liew, FRACP is in clinical practice at Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia and is also a research fellow in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the same institution. His areas of interest include immune-related adverse events from checkpoint inhibitors and polymyalgia rheumatica. Follow him on Twitter: @drdavidliew. Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Olga Petryna, MD: Dr. Olga Petryna is a clinical assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine. A summa cum laude graduate of the Ivano-Frankivsk Medical University in Ukraine, Dr. Petryna completed her Rheumatology Fellowship training at New York Presbyterian/Columbia Campus. Dr. Petryna has expertise in the treatment of autoimmune disorders including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, gout, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Vasculitis, Osteoporosis and Auto-inflammatory Syndromes. Dr. Petryna has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and co-authored a book chapter. She can be followed on Twitter: @DrPetryna. Disclosure: Consultant for Celgene, Malinckrodt, Novartis, Crescendo.


Janet Pope, MD: Janet Pope MD MPH FRCPC: Dr. Janet Pope is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Western Ontario (UWO), Schulich School of Medicine, London, Ontario, Canada.  She is the Division Head in Rheumatology at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, London. Her research includes studies in scleroderma, SLE and RA, including outcome measurements, clinical trials and disease manifestations. She has published over 450 peer-reviewed articles, 15 chapters, 500 abstracts and several Cochrane meta-analysis reviews. Mentoring of research students and trainees numbers more than 125. She has received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Canadian Rheumatology Association, Rheumatologist of the Year from the Ontario Rheumatology Association, Department of Medicine Research Achievement Award, and the Dean’s Award of Excellence in Research. She has been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Disclosure: Consulting: AbbVie, Actelion, Amgen, Bayer, BMS, Hospira, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Sandoz, UCB. Research Grants: Amgen, Bayer, BMS, Merck, Pfizer, Roche, SeaGen, UCB.


William Shergy, MD: Dr. Shergy is Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at UAB School of Medicine. He is also Assistant Consulting Professor in the Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC as well as a practicing Rheumatologist at Rheumatology Associates of North Alabama, PC. Disclosure: Biologic Cos and major Pharma for clinical trials and Speaker.


Paul Sufka, MD: Paul Sufka, MD is a rheumatologist and rheumatology department chair with HealthPartners and Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN. He serves on the ACR communications and marketing committee, is involved in fellowship education with the University of Minnesota, and is one of the co-founders of the Rheumatology Journal Club on Twitter. He has also been involved in the use of technology in medicine, occasionally blogs at, and is a health-tech startup advisor. Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Rachel Tate, DO: Dr. Tate is in clinical practice at Arthritis Care and Research Center and is a member of the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, TX. Her areas of interest include patient advocacy, musculoskeletal ultrasound, pregnancy in connective tissue disease, and spondyloarthropathies. Disclosure: Speaker for Abbvie.


Douglas White, MD, PhD: Dr. White completed residency training at Parkland Hospital at UT-Southwestern in Dallas, followed by fellowship training at Washington University in St. Louis.  He is the Chair of Rheumatology and sees patients at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI, where he also heads a small basic-science lab studying murine gammaherpesvirus latency. He volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and the Local Lupus Alliance. Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Sam Whittle, MBBS(Hons) MClinEpi FRACP: Sam Whittle works in both clinical practice, as a senior consultant rheumatologist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in South Australia, and research, as an Australia and New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network (ANZMUSC) Practitioner Fellow. He was a co-founder of ANZMUSC and is a member of its Executive Committee. He has recently completed a term on the Board of the Australian Rheumatology Association. In addition to his fellowship work on ‘living evidence’, his research and clinical interests include fibromyalgia, chronic pain, gout and spondyloarthritis. Twitter handle @samwhittle. Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.



Atul Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACR, FACP: Atul A. Deodhar, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of rheumatology clinics at the Division of Arthritis & Rheumatic Diseases in Oregon Health & Science University, Portland. Dr. Deodhar is the immediate past-chair of SPARTAN (Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network), an organization of North American Rheumatologists dedicated to education and research in the field of axial spondyloarthritis. Dr. Deodhar serves on the Rheumatology Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine. His research interests are axial spondyloarthritis and psoriatic arthritis. He has authored 3 books, over 150 peer-reviewed articles; several book chapters, and editorials. Dr. Deodhar has been a principal or co-investigator in more than 100 clinical trials, mostly focused on therapies for ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Disclosure: Research Grants and/or Advisory Boards : AbbVie, BMS, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer Novartis, UCB.


Jonathan Kay, MD: Jonathan Kay, MD, is Professor of Medicine and holds the Timothy S. and Elaine L. Peterson Chair in Rheumatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, where he directs Clinical Research in the Division of Rheumatology. His clinical appointment is as a Physician at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Kay’s clinical interests span the spectrum of rheumatic diseases, with special interest in rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, and other forms of inflammatory arthritis. Over the past three decades, his clinical research has focused on nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (formerly known as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy), 2 -microglobulin amyloidosis, and other rheumatologic problems of patients with chronic kidney disease. He has been a principal investigator on over 50 clinical trials of novel therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, gout, and osteoarthritis. Over the past several years, he has been involved in the development of biosimilars to treat rheumatic diseases. Disclosure: Research Support (paid to the University of Massachusetts Medical School): Gilead Sciences Inc.; Pfizer Inc.; UCB, Inc. Consultant: Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH; Celgene Corp.; Celltrion Healthcare Co. Ltd.; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.; Myriad Genetics, Inc.; Pfizer Inc.; Roche Laboratories, Inc.; Samsung Bioepis; Sandoz Inc.; UCB, Inc.


Kelly Krohn, MD: Kelly Krohn, MD, is a rheumatologist at the CORE Institute, a private orthopedic practice, and the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phx Dept of Orthopedics. His primary interests are metabolic bone diseases, non-surgical management of knee osteoarthritis, fracture healing, spine fusion and rehabilitation in the elderly. Disclosure: Speaker/Advisor: Radius, Aexion


Naomi Schleslinger, MD: Naomi Schlesinger, MD, is the Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Rheumatology fellowship program director at UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ, where she is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Schlesinger is a noted authority in the field of gout, having published papers regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and better understanding of the pathogenesis of gout. She is the author of over 190 scientific articles, abstracts, book chapters and reviews. She has a special interest in evidence-based medicine and serves as a co-facilitator of the Acute Gout Review Group for Cochrane International Collaboration as well as a member of the OMERACT Gout Special Interest Organizing Group. Disclosure: Grant: Astra Zeneca. Advisory boards: Novartis, Horizon, Selecta