DC Rheum
The Rheumatism Society of the District of Columbia
fellows forum

For over a decade now, fellows, residents and medical students from the DC, Virgina, Maryland region have gotten together anually to present their research and interesting cases in the field of Rheumatology. The submissions are voted upon and winners awarded with cash prizes and some trainees are asked to present their work at the podium. Also every year a world famous guest speaker is invited to talk about a variety of topics.

Click on the banners below to learn about this year's upcoming Fellows Forum as well as past years forums and winners.

2016 Fellows Forum

The Rheumatism Society of the District of Columbia 13th Annual Rheumatology Fellows Forum was on May 21th, 2016. The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Inman, Deputy Physician in Chief, Research University Health Network Professor of Medicine and Immunology, and University of Toronto Director of the Spondylitis Program at Toronto Western Hospital. The forum was a great success and congratulations to all of the participants. To download a copy of the program, click here.

The 2016 winners are as follows:

Podium Presenters:

  • Sara Alehashemi - NIAMS
    • 18F FDG PET-CT as a Diagnostic Test and Marker of Disease Activity in Large Vessel Vasculitis
  • Asha Alex - GUH
    • Exploring the Association Between Air Pollutant Exposure and Seropositivity in Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Kaitlin Quinn - GUH
    • Can Exercise Echocardiography Predict Future Development of Pulmonary Hypertension in a High-Risk Cohort of Scleroderma Patients?
  • Qianzi Zhao - CNMC
    • B10 Cells may be involved in Controlling Disease Activity in Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Patients

Poster Awardees:

  • Sara Alehashemi – NIAMS
    • Clinical Response to JAK Inhibitor in a Case of Relapsing Polychondritis
  • Robbins Rachel - WRNMMC
    • Treatment of Primary Angiitis of the CNS with Rituximab
  • Sam Serafi - GWU
    • Long-term outcomes of Patients with Juvenile Dermatomyositis
  • Kyawt Shwin - NIAMS
    • Histopathologic and Immunologic Features of Skin Manifestations in Monogenic Autoinflammatory Disorders
  • Rodger Stitt - WRNMMC
    • Novel Use Of Rituximab In Macrophage Activation Syndrome
2015 Fellows Forum

The Rheumatism Society of the District of Columbia 13th Annual Rheumatology Fellows Forum was on May 16th, 2015. The keynote speaker was Dr. Brian Walitt, Director of Clinical Pain Research for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The forum was a great success and congratulations to all of the participants. To download a copy of the program, click here.

The 2015 winners are as follows:

Podium Presenters:

  • Melissa Butts - WRNMMC
    • Characterization of epitopes identified with cerebral vasculature injury
  • Martha Delgado - NIAMS
    • Identifying the Investment Needed to Generate a Durable Prednisone Decrement
  • Hanna Kim - CNMC
    • Validation of a Novel Interferon (IFN)-Regulated Gene (IRG) Score As Biomarker in Chronic Atypical Neutrophilic Dermatosis with Lipdoystrophy and Elevated temperature (CANDLE) Patients on Baricitinib, a Janus Kinase Inhibitor, a Proof of Concept
  • Kyawt W. Shwin - NIAMS
    • Adenosine-Mediated Inflammation and Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Associated with Mutations in CECR1

Poster Awardees:

  • Shawn Abraham, MD – GUH
    • Autologous Fat Grafting for Refractory Digital Ulcerations
  • Dareen Almanabri - GWU
    • An unusual hemorrhagic basal ganglia stroke: Bringing genomics to the bedside
  • Payam Noroozi Farhadi - NEIHS
    • Predictors of Myositis Treatments Received and Associated Treatment Responses in MYOVISION, a National Myositis Patient Registry
  • Lindsay Holtz - VCU
    • Can we call it DISH?
2014 Fellows Forum

The Rheumatism Society of the District of Columbia 12th Annual Rheumatology Fellows Forum was on May 10th, 2014. The keynote speaker was Dr. Brian Mandell, Chairman of Medicine in Rheumatology and Immunologic Disease at the Cleveland Clinic. The forum was a great success and congratulations to all of the participants. To download a copy of the program, click here.

The 2014 winners are as follows:

Podium Presenters:

  • Sarthak Gupta, MD – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • Spectrum and Activity of Anticytokine Autoantibodies in Rheumatologic Diseases
  • CPT Brian J Stout, MD MHA – Rheumatology Fellow, Walter Reed National Miltary Medical Center
    • Investigating Mechanisms of Neurovascular Injury in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Angeliki Giannelou, MD – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • TRNT1 missense mutations define a new periodic fever syndrome
  • Hanna Kim, MD – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • Proof of Concept Study on Pharmacodynamics of Baricitinib (JAK 1/ 2 inhibitor) in CANDLE Patients

Poster Awardees:

  • Shawn Abraham, MD – Rheumatology Fellow, Georgetown University Medical Center
    • A Rare Case of IgG4 Related Disease Presenting As Pleural Based Mass
  • Melissa S. Butts, MD – Rheumatology Fellow, Walter Reed National Miltary Medical Center
    • A Unique Case of Isolated Carotid Artery Takayasu’s Arteritis
  • Deborah L. Kim DO – IM Resident, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
    • Severe Neck Pain Is Not Always Just Osteoarthritis
2013 Fellows Forum

The Rheumatism Society of the District of Columbia 11th Annual Rheumatology Fellows Forum was on May 11th, 2013. The keynote speaker was Dr. John O'Shea, Chief, Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch, and Scientific Director, NIAMS Intramural Research Program at the NIH. The forum was a great success and congratulations to all of the participants. To download a copy of the program, click here.

The 2013 winners are as follows:

Podium Presenters:

  • Caroline D'Sousa – Rheumatology Fellow, University of Virginia
    • Concordance of Indirect Immunofluorescence and Multiplex Immunoassay for Measurement of Antinuclear Antibodies
  • Carol Deane B. Mitnick – Rheumatology Fellow, Georgetown University
    • Lack of Correlation between Drug-Related and Behavior Modification Quality Indicators in Gout Management
  • Sree Rayavarapu – Research Fellow, Children's National Medical Center
    • Activation of the Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway in a Mouse Model of Inflammatory Myopathy: A Potential Therapeutic Target
  • Chris Tracy –- Rheumatology Fellow, Walter Reed National Miltary Medical Center
    • Exploration of a Novel Therapeutic Target in a Murine Model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Targeting Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) Receptors

Poster Awardees:

  • Sarthak Gupta – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • Anticytokine Autoantibodies in Rheumatic Diseases
  • Cornelia Cudrici – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • Targeting mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in the TNF receptor associated periodic fever syndrome: a novel anti-inflammatory treatment strategy
  • Pravitt Gourh – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • Infection or autoimmunity- an eternal dilemma
  • Tahereh Jamshidi – Rheumatology Fellow, Georgetown University Medical Center
    • Esophageal Strictures: A new expression of IgG4 related disease
  • Daniella Schwartz – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • The G258A Mutation in PSTPIP1 Causes a Mild Variant of PAPA Syndrome
2012 Fellows Forum

The Rheumatism Society of the District of Columbia 10th Annual Rheumatology Fellows Forum was on May 19th, 2012. The keynote speaker was Dr. Bevra Hahn, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Rheumatology Division at the UCLA School of Medicine who delivered an outstanding lecture on new developments in SLE. The forum was a great success and congratulations to all of the participants. To download a copy of the program, click here.

The 2012 winners are as follows:

Podium Presenters:

  • Sharon Frattalone DO – Rheumatology Fellow, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
    • FTY720 Inhibits T-Cell Mediated Tissue Injury in Autoimmune Prone Mice
  • Hemalatha Srinivasalu MD – Pediatric Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS and Nemours/Alfred I Dupont Hospital for Children
    • Early disease manifestations of Enthesitis related arthritis reveals elevated TGF-beta
  • Apostolos Kontzias MD – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • Comparative Cytokine Analysis Across a Spectrum of Genetically and/or Clinically Dedfined Auto-Inflammatory Syndromes
  • Adrienne Yip, BS –- Intramural Research Training Award Fellow, NIEHS
    • An In-Depth Analysis of Responses in the Rituximab in Myositis (RIM) Trial in Patients Enrolled at the NIH

Poster Awardees:

  • Sree Rayavarapu DVM – PhD student, Children’s National Medical Center
    • Potential disease specific role for a de-ubiquitinating enzyme, ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase isozyme L1 (UCHL1) in myositis
  • Sharon Dowell MB, BS – Rheumatology Fellow, University of Maryland
    • The Use of Hydroxychloroquine in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: To Check or Not to Check Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Levels
  • Seema Qaiyumi MD – Rheumatology Research Fellow, VA Medical Center and Georgetown
    • Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis in a Diverse Ethnic Cohort
  • Mohammadali Habibi MD – Medical Resident, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
    • Severe Hepatitis Associated with Tocilizumab in a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hashem Vahabzadeh-Monshie MD – Rheumatology Fellow, Georgetown
    • Castleman Disease: Three Case Reports
  • Runsheng Wang, MD – Rheumatology Fellow, NIAMS
    • Cerebellar Ataxia in Primary Sjogren Syndrome with Positive Anti-GWB Antibodies in Serum and Cerebrospinal Fluid: A Case Report