ACR Journals on Air Podcast


Welcome to ACR Journals on Air, the ACR’s newest podcast series featuring interviews, commentary, and analysis on research from our three peer-reviewed journals: Arthritis & Rheumatology, Arthritis Care & Research, and ACR Open Rheumatology. Join us each episode for engaging discussions with authors and independent experts about recently published studies, their implications for clinical care, and how they move the field of rheumatology forward.

Whether it’s an expert analysis of a manuscript or deep dive with an author—our goal is the same—to understand the impact of the science and bring it from the bench to the bedside.

Podcast Host

Victoria Shanmugam

Victoria Shanmugam, MBBS, MRCP, CCD, has clinical expertise caring for patients with autoimmune diseases, vasculitis, and chronic wounds. She has led several research studies investigating scleroderma, hidradenitis suppurativa, and the interplay of the host immune response and the microbiome in chronic wounds. Dr. Shanmugam is a frequently invited speaker at professional meetings. Her work in wound healing, hidradenitis, and scleroderma has been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, such as Arthritis Care and Research, Current Opinion in Rheumatology, International Wound Journal, and Clinical Rheumatology. Connect with Dr. Shanmugam on Twitter (@VickiShanmugam).


New episodes will be available twice a month on Tuesdays.

Episode 27 – Kids Get Lupus Too

Episode 26 – Dosing Rehab

Episode 25 – Here Comes the Sun

Episode 24 – Challenges of COVID

Episode 23 – Pain and Precision Medicine

Browse previous episodes in the ACR Journals on Air archive.

Episode Show Notes

This week our guest is Joyce Chang, MD, MSCE, a recipient of the Lupus Foundation of America's Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Award, who shares her latest study, its methods, conclusions, and career journey with us. Dr. Chang’s latest study, Improving Outcomes of Pediatric Lupus Care Delivery With Provider Goal-Setting Activities and Multidisciplinary Care Models, used the pediatric Lupus Care Index (pLCI) and population management strategies for improving outcomes in childhood SLE. Later, we spent some time with Dr. Chang and asked what she sought out in her first faculty appointment and how she ensured she would hit the ground running.


Joyce Chang, MD, MSCE

Joyce Chang, MD, MSCE - Joyce C. Chang, MD, MSCE, is a pediatric rheumatologist and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Immunology at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Harvard Medical School. She completed her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, followed by pediatric residency and rheumatology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018.

Upon joining the faculty at BCH, she was appointed Director of Lupus Research for the Lupus Program and serves as principal investigator of the BCH Lupus Registry. Dr. Chang has led highly relevant research in some of the most challenging problems that span pediatric and adult lupus care, including cardiovascular disease prevention, medication adherence, transition from pediatric to adult health care, and health equity.

Dr. Chang also co-leads efforts funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to understand the contribution of social determinants of health to disparities in disease activity and damage among children in the North American CARRA Lupus Registry. She is known as a highly effective mentor and is dedicated to training the next generation of clinical researchers in pediatric rheumatology.

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) need rehabilitation to improve functional limitations and slow disability. But in what doses? Using the FORWARD databank, our guest Kaleb Michaud, PhD, identified a cohort and gathered data on rehabilitation dose and their functional outcomes. We discuss his study that was recently published in Arthritis Care & Research, Examining Rehabilitation Dose in Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Association With Baseline Factors and Change in Clinical Outcomes, and its objective to determine if there was a meaningful change in physical function, pain and fatigue over a six-month period when evaluating baseline factors and rehabilitation dose.


Kaleb Michaud, PhD

Kaleb Michaud, PhD - Kaleb Michaud, PhD, serves as Director of the Forward Databank, the largest long-term open-cohort observational registry of its kind with more than 50,000 patients enrolled. Since 2007 he has been the principal investigator of the RAIN database, a rheumatology clinical registry composed of all five clinics within Nebraska Medicine. He is an active and long-term volunteer of the ACR/ARP, including eight years in developing the Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness (RISE) national registry. He also works closely with Ted Mikuls, MD, MSPH, on the Veteran Affairs Rheumatoid Arthritis (VARA) registry.

Dr. Michaud's research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, health outcomes, medical informatics, meta-analysis, quality of life, and cost-effectiveness in rheumatology. Some of his current projects include: DMARD adherence, mortality in rheumatic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis activity measures, and smartphone-detected health outcomes. Within the University of Nebraska Medical Center, he is the director of the rheumatology fellowship research program, chair of the Clinical Research Center pilot grant review committee and leads the Great Plains IDEA-CTR Mentor Training Facilitator Team. He is dedicated to conducting research that improves care for those living with rheumatic diseases.

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Photosensitivity among patients with SLE is a well-known symptom. However, what is not well-known is why. Our guest this week, Michelle Kahlenberg MD, PhD, and team, endeavored to uncover that answer. The article, Regulation of Photosensitivity by the Hippo Pathway in Lupus Skin, was the result of this study, which was published in Arthritis & Rheumatology earlier this year. Dr. Kahlenberg joins us for this episode to discuss the study’s methods, results, and its surprising conclusion: a novel driver was discovered!


Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD

Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD – Dr. J. Michelle Kahlenberg MD, PhD, is the Giles G. Boles MD and Dorothy Mulkey MD Research Professor of Rheumatology Associate Professor (soon to be Professor as of 9/1/2023) of Internal Medicine and Dermatology at the University of Michigan. She is the Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research for the Department of Internal Medicine. She completed her BS in Biology (Summa Cum Laude) at Denison University, her MD, PhD, and Internal Medicine training at Case Western Reserve University and her fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Michigan. She has been running her own laboratory at U-M since 2013. Her clinical work is centered on the care of complicated lupus patients, including those with refractory skin disease. Her research laboratory is funded by multiple NIH (including R01) and foundation awards and combines translational approaches using patient samples and murine models to uncover the mechanisms that drive lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Her work has received institutional accolades and national recognition from the Arthritis National Research Foundation, the Rheumatology Research Foundation, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Lupus Foundation of America. In addition, she was awarded a PECASE, the top award given by the president of the United States to outstanding early career scientists and engineers, and was recently named a 2022 ACR Henry Kunkel Young Investigator awardee.

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It has been three years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re only just now beginning to investigate the impact it has had on our collective societies. The full impact will likely not be known for years to come, if ever. As those studies are beginning, our guests wanted to evaluate the pandemic’s impact in their spheres of interest. First author, Kristie Kuhn, MD, PhD, along with Liana Fraenkel, MD, MPH, and team asked the question: What is the impact of COVID on our early career investigators and trainees and what can be done about it? The results of their study are in the article, Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Early Career Investigators in Rheumatology: Recommendations to Address Challenges to Early Research Careers, and were recently published in Arthritis Care & Research.


Kristie Kuhn, MD, PhD

Kristie Kuhn, MD, PhDD – Kristie Kuhn, MD, PhD, is the Scoville Endowed Chair and Head of the Division of Rheumatology and an Associate Professor of Medicine and of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. She received her MD and PhD in Immunology at the University of Colorado. She then completed Internal Medicine residency, chief residency, and Rheumatology fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis. In 2013, Dr. Kuhn returned to the University of Colorado to establish her independent research program examining the interactions between the intestinal microbiome and immune responses of inflammatory arthritis. During her tenure as Chair of the ACR Committee on Research, Dr. Kuhn has focused on developing programs to retain and support academic researchers.


Liana Fraenkel, MD, MPH

Liana Fraenkel, MD, MPH – After a 20-year career at Yale University, Liana Fraenkel, MD, MPH, is now Director of Medical Education, DIO and Director of Population Health Research, Berkshire Health Systems. She remains Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Fraenkel’s research program has focused on improving our understanding of both physician and patient decision-making and on developing methods to improve the quality of decision making for patients faced with complex decisions involving multiple options. She has conducted numerous studies incorporating qualitative and quantitative methodologies that evaluate patient attitudes towards drug toxicity, physician and patient treatment preferences, and the contextual influences on risk perceptions. She has also developed several novel methods of communicating risk information and engaging patients in shared decision making with decision support tools. Dr. Fraenkel is a recipient of the Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award from the ACR. She was funded by a K24 Mentoring award which enables her to mentor trainees across a broad range of patient-oriented research projects. She is now focused on building a population health research program to address some of the most pressing health problems in western Mass.

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This week, we look at the practical management of pain and the advancement of science regarding it, with our guest Daniel Clauw, MD, co-author of the paper, Identifying and Managing Nociplastic Pain in Individuals With Rheumatic Diseases: A Narrative Review. Dr. Clauw joins us to discuss the work to introduce the three types of pain classified by the International Association for the Study of Pain and the mechanisms that underlie pain, as it relates to the field of rheumatology.


Daniel Clauw, MD

Daniel Clauw, MD - Daniel Clauw, MD, is a Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine (Rheumatology) and Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He attended undergraduate and medical school at the University of Michigan, following which he did an Internal Medicine Residency and Rheumatology Fellowship at Georgetown University. He stayed at Georgetown as a faculty member from 1990–2002, serving as Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Vice Chair of Medicine. While at Georgetown he founded the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center (CPFRC), and in 2002 was recruited to bring this group to the University of Michigan, where the group has become one of the most successful pain research groups in the world. He also served as the first PI of the University of Michigan Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA), as well as the first Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research and founded the institute that houses the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. He has over 450 peer-reviewed publications, over $100M in federal funding, and is currently co-PI of four NIH center grants and two R01s, studying various aspects of chronic pain. He also has been a very active mentor, serving as the primary mentor for 35 NIH K awardees, nearly all of whom have gone on to obtain R series funding or the equivalent.

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