The Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology is grounded in the idea that patients hold the answers to understanding complex rheumatic diseases. Our Division and its clinical and research structure enable translational investigation across the spectrum of rheumatic diseases. Each of our specialty centers in Arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis and Spondyloarthritis), Lupus, Scleroderma, Vasculitis, Myositis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Gout combines clinical expertise and multidisciplinary clinical care with ongoing collection of clinical data, and biological specimens from patients seen in the clinical practices. This has been a successful model to allow physician-scientists and researchers to conduct translational investigation both within each specialty area, and importantly across diseases.
The primary objectives of the RDRCC are to facilitate translational research across the spectrum of inflammatory rheumatic diseases by:
- Providing centralized and coordinated facilities, personnel, and processes to enable the simultaneous collection of an array of clinical data and biospecimens,
- Developing and linking clinical databases with the results of biomarker analyses and other bioassays,
- Providing systems to ensure the data quality and integrity at all stages, and
- Ensuring the primacy of protection of human subjects in translational investigation and facilitating understanding and compliance with regulatory requirements.
The Administrative Core (Core A) of the Johns Hopkins RDRCC is led by Antony Rosen, MD and Clifton Bingham, MD. The complementary research approach of these two investigators, who approach translational investigation with different backgrounds and emphases, underscore the Division’s dual strengths in laboratory and clinical investigation and emphasize the Division’s goal of promoting and enabling novel translational research.
The functions of the Administrative Core of the RDRCC are to:
- Oversee and manage logistical, financial, and coordinating activities of the Scientific Cores: Core B (Bioassay), Core C (Flow Cytometry) and Core D (Human Subjects Research and Analytical Core)
- Direct a program of pilot and feasibility studies utilizing the RDRCC Cores to foster the careers of junior investigators, and to initiate and support innovative collaborations between Center investigators and other investigators ,whose skills and research interests are currently not represented within the RDRCC research base;
- Coordinate a program of educational and enrichment activities designed to enhance literacy and the overall intellectual environment across disciplines
The Administrative Core of the Johns Hopkins RDRCC comprises four elements:
- The Director (Dr. Rosen), Associate Director (Dr. Bingham), and support administrative and financial personnel for oversight, planning, and implementation of the overall vision for the RDRCC
- An Executive Committee consisting of the Directors of each Disease Center within the Division and the leaders of the RDRCC and the Scientific Cores
- An Internal Advisory Committee with representation across the full range of biomedical research expertise at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
- An External Advisory Committee selected for the members’ scientific expertise, experience in the management of complex scientific cores, familiarity with this Center and its history of positive contributions to its growth, and the relevance of their interests to the Specific Aims and Scientific Cores of the overall RDRCC.