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April 1, 2013 - 4:26pm

Dr. C. Kent Kwoh, Renowned Expert in Joint Diseases, Appointed Director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center

Dr. Kent KwohC. Kent Kwoh, MD, an internationally recognized expert in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other joint diseases, has been appointed director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center. He will join the center July 22.

He also will join theUniversity of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Medicine as The Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Chair of Rheumatology and chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Kwoh served as director of clinical research for the University of Pittsburgh Arthritis Institute, where he headed three major projects funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): an $8.9 million Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) contract, a $4.4 million Pivotal OAI MRI Analyses (POMA) contract and the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center for Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

He was professor of medicine in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, with joint appointments in the Graduate School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology and in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He also served as rheumatology section chief at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Prior to that, he was on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, where he directed the Institute for Healthcare Research.

“We are very fortunate that Dr. Kwoh will be heading the University of Arizona Arthritis Center,” says Steve Goldschmid, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. “His range of expertise in joint diseases – from research to patient care to training the next generation of physicians – will greatly enhance the center’s commitment to serve the community.”

“The University of Arizona Arthritis Center has a very bright future and boundless potential to fulfill its three-fold mission of research, education and clinical care,” says Dr. Kwoh. “I am honored to be entrusted with its leadership and to continue to build upon its tradition of excellence.”

Dr. Kwoh replaces Eric P. Gall, MD, MACP, MACR, one of the founding directors of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, who has served as interim director of the center since 2010, when he returned to the UA from the Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, where he was emeritus professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine from 1994-2009. Dr. Gall will remain a member of the center and a professor of clinical medicine in the UA Department of Medicine Division of Rheumatology. He also will continue working with the rheumatology fellows and seeing patients at The University of Arizona Medical Center – Wilmot Physician Offices.

“Dr. Gall’s interim leadership of the Arizona Arthritis Center has been outstanding,” says Dean Goldschmid. “He has led the center through some challenging times and we are pleased that he will continue to train our rheumatology fellows who are fortunate to be taught by one of the most respected rheumatology caregivers in the country.”

About Dr. Kwoh

Dr. Kwoh’s clinical interests include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and gout. His research interests include outcome assessment and the examination of risk factors for the development and progression of a broad spectrum of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. His current work focuses on the identification of biomarkers – most notably MRI imaging biomarkers – for the development and/or progression of knee osteoarthritis and the characterization of knee pain patterns in osteoarthritis. Another line of research targets the elimination of ethnic/racial disparities in the care of patients with osteoarthritis. A third area of interest is the evaluation of state-of-the-art imaging techniques (for example, 3D imaging and thermography) to quantify inflammation in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

His research has been funded by grants from NIAMS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Arthritis Foundation and other organizations. He is a co-holder of three patents for a method using thermal, laser and other state-of-the-art imaging to assess the extent of arthritis in joints.

Dr. Kwoh has mentored more than 30 trainees and junior faculty in the areas of epidemiology and health services research related to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

Dr. Kwoh’s professional memberships include the Arthritis Foundation, where he serves on the Public Health Committee, and the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI), where he serves as a member of the OARSI Treatment Guidelines Committee. He was a member of the OARSI Publications Committee and the Steering Committee for the OARSI-FDA initiative for the revision of the guidance document for osteoarthritis. He is a founding fellow of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and has served on the board of directors for the ACR and the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

He was a member of the National Arthritis Data Workgroup sponsored by NIAMS, co-chair of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Working Group of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which developed quality measures for rheumatoid arthritis, and co-chair of the ACR Guideline Development Subcommittee for Guidelines on the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Currently, he serves on a Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the NIAMS and the Rheumatology Field Advisory Committee for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He also is a member of the ISIS Fund Network of the Society for Women’s Health Research and has been a grant reviewer for the National Health Research Institute, Taiwan; the Arthritis Society of Canada; the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Dr. Kwoh is the author or co-author of more than 140 scientific journal articles and book chapters. He has served on the editorial board of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and Arthritis Care and Research. He also is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other professional journals, including Arthritis and Rheumatism, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Journal of Rheumatology, Genetic Epidemiology, Arthritis Care and Research, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

Dr. Kwoh has been a speaker at numerous national and international meetings, including conferences in China, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Taiwan.

Dr. Kwoh received his bachelor’s and medical degrees in 1975 and 1979, respectively, from the University of Illinois in Chicago. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Hospitals in 1982 and a fellowship in rheumatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, N.H., in 1984. He also was a scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., from 1984 to 1986. He is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology.

The University of Arizona Arthritis Center, established in 1985 as a Center of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson by the Arizona Board of Regents, is a research leader with a focus on identifying the causes of arthritis and developing improved diagnosis, measurement and treatment of the disease. For more information, please visit www.arthritis.arizona.edu