Recent News & Events


Celebrating the Retirement of Dr. Carin Dugowson

The Division of Rheumatology recently celebrated the retirement of Dr. Carin Dugowson. Dr. Dugowson earned her M.D. from the University of Illinois and her M.P.H. in Epidemiology from the University of Washington.


Dr. Dugowson joined the Division of Rheumatology in 1980 and served as faculty for over 30 years. During this time she performed clinical duties at the University of Washington Medical Center as well as the now defunt Pacific Medical Center. She was Director of Acute Care Services at Seattle Public Health Hospital, Medical Director for Rheumatology at Pacific Medical Center, and a Supervisor of Clinical Trials for the Division.

During her career Dr. Dugowson also served as a mentor to many medical trainees and on multiple NIH grants. She was often an expert on Electronic Medical Records for the Division of Rheumatology as well as the School of Medicine. She is currently continuing to impact Washington state lives by using her skills as a Master Gardner to volunteer with the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society.




Announcing Dr. Bobby Han as new Rheumatology Faculty

The Division of Rheumatology is excited to announce that in Fall 2016 Dr. Bobby Han will be joining our faculty. Dr. Han earned his medical degree from Seoul National University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea in 1994.  He completed a residency in internal medicine at Western Pennsylvania Hospital in 2001.  Dr. Han served as Chief Resident within the Department of Internal Medicine at Western Pennsylvania Hospital from 2001-2002. In 2004 he completed his fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. 


Dr. Han is a board certified rheumatologist and has been practicing medicine since 2004 in Oregon and now New Jersey.  He currently holds the faculty title of Assistant Professor within the Division of Rheumatology at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey. 


Dr. Han has a strong interest in translational research and clinical investigation.  He will work in collaboration with the Elkon Lab and other interested members of the Division to build a Clinical Trials Program with the Division of Rheumatology.  In addition, Dr. Han will have an active clinical program mostly based at UWMC.



In Memoriam: Wendy Eider, M.D.

It is with great sadness that we learned Wendy Eider, M.D. passed away at the beginning of April after a long illness.

Wendy was a Clinical Associate Professor within the Division, practicing at the Seattle VA since 2012.  Wendy earned her M.D. at Washington University School of Medicine and her Rheumatology Fellowship training at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining UW, Wendy spent most of her time as a community rheumatologist in Yakima WA where she also served as a consultant for Native American clinics.

Wendy is remembered as an outstanding clinical rheumatologist, teacher and collegial member of the Division. She will be missed by the Faculty, Fellows and Staff. We offer sincere condolences to her family.

Keith Elkon MD, Head, Division of Rheumatology &
Bernard Ng, MD, Section Head, VA

Medical Center Puget Sound



Dr. Gregory Gardner Receives UW PRAISE Award

Congratulations to Gregory Gardner, MD, FACP who has received a UW PRAISE award.  PRAISE stands for Patient Reported Assessment In Satisfaction and Excellence. The awards are given out semi-annually to clinicians who have received at least 15 patient satisfaction surveys in the past 6 months and achieve a ranking for communication in the 80th percentile or better. Clinicians with this ranking are among the top in the nation for their listening and communication skills.



February 2016 Newsletter

The February 2016 Newsletter has been released. Highlights include:


  • New Endowment to Support Rheumatology Fellows Training
  • Honoring Dr. Peter Simkin at the 2015 ACR Dinner
  • 2016 Annual Lane Lecture Save the Date!
  • Drs. Elkon & Lood Research on Nuetrophil NETS & Inflammation
  • Karen Huisinga Awarded ARHP Distinguished Clinician Award
  • Updates on Ultrasound in the UW Rheumatology Clinics
  • Recent Division Publications


You can view the current and past Newsletters here. If you would like recieve Division Newsletters via email or postal mail please email



New Karr Family Endowment to Support Rheumatology Fellows Training


The Division is pleased to announce a new endowed fund for Rheumatology Fellowship Training, which was established by a generous gift from Janet M. and Reynold (Rennie) Karr. With their gift, the Karr’s will support the ongoing training of fellows in rheumatology to become proficient in the care of patients with rheumatologic diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and spondylarthritis. Furthermore, this endowed fund will help to address the local and national need to train more talented rheumatologists that will provide care to patients in our region and beyond.

Dr. Keith Elkon, Division Head, remarked, “We are so grateful to Janet and Rennie. This endowment will have a lasting impact on training the next generation of rheumatologists.”

Janet and Rennie have both spent their lives working in healthcare. Rennie is a physician specializing in both Rheumatology and Allergy/Immunology. He has served on the UW clinical faculty since 1980, initially as a volunteer with an independent private practice, then in a salaried position following the closing of his private practice in 2007. Rennie commented, “I am deeply appreciative of my patients’ confidence and trust, and for the privilege to work with the outstanding UW Medicine Rheumatology and Allergy/Immunology faculty and trainees, as well as other UW faculty, staff, and trainees pursuing excellence in the missions of patient care, teaching, and research.” Janet is a registered nurse who, early in her career, worked full-time in several major city hospital ICUs, then subsequently, medical practice administrative and financial management for Rennie’s private practice in Everett, WA.

The Karr Family Endowed Fellowship was established in November 2015, with 50% matching support from the University of Washington. Should you wish to learn more about how you can make a gift to enhance the Karr Fellowship Fund or to support the general Rheumatology Fellowship Training Fund, please contact Abbey Norris, director for philanthropy, at 206.221.8274 or




2015-2016 Division Grants


Dr. Natalia Giltiay was recently awarded a grant for her project, “Developing New Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis Using Antigen-Targeting to Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells”.  The grant was awarded by the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, funded through the Department of Defense. 


The Rheumatology Research Foundation awarded Dr. Erika Noss a Career Development Bridge Funding Award: K Supplement to continue her work on, “Role for the PDGF pathway in RA fibroblast hyperplasia”.


Dr. Keith Elkon received funding from Seattle Genetics for a collaborative project on systemic lupus erythematosus.



Drs. Lood & Elkon Discover How Neutrophil NETS Cause Inflammation - Discussion and Article in Nature Medicine

The research of the Elkon lab was recently highlighted in the article Mitochondral troublemakers unmasked in lupus: drivers of autoimune disease inflammation discovered in the traps pathogen-capturing of white blood cells published in the journal Nature Medicine.


These findings focus on how mitochondria can instigate lupus-like inflammation. The University of Washington and the National Institutes of Health are working to find out why these chemicals and other mitochondrial materials can trigger body's self-attack in systemic lupus erythematosus.


More information on the new findings can be found here. Information on the Elkon Lab can be found on our Division website.


Dr. Michael Holers- 2016 Lane Lecture Speaker

Dr. Michael Holers will be the 2016 Lane Lecture speaker. He is currently the Division Head of Rheumatology and Scoville Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.


Dr. Holers’ research efforts have focused on the structure-function relationships and biologic roles of the complement system. These studies were recognized by his receiving the singular 2008 American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Basic Investigator Award.


More recently the Holers’ Laboratory has moved a major focus of research activities to studying the natural history and pathogenesis of human rheumatoid arthritis (RA) prior to and immediately after the onset of clinically apparent arthritis. These studies have provided strong evidence for a pulmonary mucosal origin of RA-related autoimmunity prior to the development of clinically apparent arthritis. In recognition of these and other efforts, Dr. Holers has been elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP).

Dr. Holers will speak at the Lane Lecture & Reception on March 24th 2016. On March 24th he will also present at the UW Department of Medicine Grand Rounds as well at a Rheumatology specific conference talk March 25th.

You can view pictures from the 2015 Lane Lecture & Reception here.



2016 ACGME Rheumatology Fellows

We are excited to announce our 2016 ACGME Fellows.


Dr. Percy Balderia.

Dr. Balderia will join us from University of the Philippines Manila School of Medicine in the Philippines. He completed his residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA.


Dr. Meredith Barnes.

Dr. Barnes will join us from Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.



Dr. Andrew Vasconcellos.

Dr. Vasconcellos will join us from Ross University Schooll of Medicine. He completed his residency at the New York Methodist Hospital & Weill Cornell Medical College in Brooklyn, NY.


You can learn more about our Fellowship Program here.

UW & Seattle Children's Hospital Team Up at Jingle Bell Run!

The UW and Seattle Children's Rheumatology teams joined forces again this year to support the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run. The team was made up of faculty, fellows, staff, and friends! Over 41 team members helped raise more than $2,500. You can find out more about the Arthritis Foundation on their website.







UW Presents Abstracts & Posters at 2015 ACR Annual Meeting

The 2015 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Meeting will be held in San Francisco, California from November 7-11th. The Division of Rheumatology will be presenting over ten abstracts and posters this year.


Abstracts & Posters Presented at the 2015 ACR:


  • Luz P Blanco, Christian Lood, Monica M Purmalek, Suk S De Ravin, Carolyne K Smith, Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Harry L Malech, Jeffrey A Ledbetter, Keith B Elkon and Mariana J Kaplan. Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Modulate Autoimmunity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.


  • McCann Y, Barnes M, Hughes G. Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Birth Control May Suppress Toll-like Receptor 7-Induced Interferon-Alpha Production By Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in Women


  • Greenfield M. Poster  - Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease - Clinical Aspects and Pathogenesis


  • Christian Lood, Luz P. Blanco2, Monica M, Purmalek, Carolyne K, Smith, Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Jeffrey A. Ledbetter, Mariana J. Kaplan, Keith B. Elkon.Oral Presentation - Mitochondrial ROS is a Novel Regulator of STING-mediated Type I IFN Production by Governing Extrusion of Oxidized Mitochondrial DNA upon Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation.


  • Gazitt T. Complement-Mediated Neutrophil Lysis-a Mechanism Promoting Hypercitrullination in Rheumatoid Arthritis?


  • Andrews J. Rheumatoid Arthritis – Clinical Aspects Poster II


  • Natalia V. Giltiay, Geraldine L. Shu, Anthony Shock, and Edward A. Clark. Inhibition of B Cell Activation and Plasma Cell Differentiation By Epratuzumab, a Humanized Monoclonal Antibody Targeting CD22 


  • Lucrezia Collona. The Complement C1s Inhibitor TNT003 Blocks C3b Deposition and Inhibits the Uptake of Late Apoptotic/Secondary Necrotic Cells.


  • Jie An, Joshua J. Woodward, Mark Minie, YuFeng Peng, Tomikazu Sasaki ,Keith B. Elkon. Novel mechanism of action of Anti-malarial drugs in the inhibition of Type I interferon production


  • Bays A, Nayak R, Daikh DI, Yazdany J, Schmajuk G. Implementation of New Pneumococcal Vaccination Recommendations in an Academic Rheumatology Clinic [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67


  • Bays A, Wahl ER, Daikh DI, Yazdany J, Schmajuk G. Implementation of Disease Activity Measurement for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in an Academic Rheumatology Clinic [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67


Dr. Grant Hughes Receives UW PRAISE Award

Congratulations to Grant Hughes, MD, Associate Professor who has received a UW PRAISE award.  PRAISE stands for Patient Reported Assessment In Satisfaction and Excellence. The awards are given out semi-annually to clinicians who have received at least 15 patient satisfaction surveys in the past 6 months and achieve a ranking for communication in the 80th percentile or better. Clinicians with this ranking are among the top in the nation for their listening and communication skills.




Four New Rheumatology Faculty Recruited

The Division of Rheumatology is excited to announce the addition of four new faculty members.


Dr. James Andrews: Dr. Andrews has just completed his third-year as a Rheumatology Fellow and Clinical Instructor at the University of California, San Francisco. James completed medical school at Stanford University and trained in Internal Medicine at UCSF. His research focuses on the effects of rheumatic disease on muscle strength, body composition, and physical disability. Working under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia Katz, his most recent studies have demonstrated the important contribution of muscle weakness to increased physical disability among women with lupus. His current studies address relationships between chronic inflammation, body composition, and muscle strength in lupus. James will be pursuing a path as a Physician Scientist in clinical research and will also have clinics at the University of Washington Medical Center.


Dr. Alison Bays: Dr. Bays received her Bachelor of Science in biopsychology from the University of Santa Barbara. She then joined the Peace Corps and worked in Malawi as a teacher. Her many experiences there included completing a carpentry skills center for a local orphanage. She returned to the U.S for medical school at Tulane University. While at Tulane she also completed a Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at that very highly regarded School of Public Health. Dr. Bays completed her residency in 2013 with our Internal Medicine Program at the University of Washington. Dr. Bays then did her rheumatology fellowship at UCSF and will complete her fellowship by August 2015. Dr. Bays will be pursuing a path as a Clinician-Educator and will primarily see patients at Harborview Medical Center.


Dr. Erika Noss: Dr. Noss is an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard University. She obtained her PhD at Case Western where she worked on antigen processing. After completing her MSTP requirements, she moved to Brigham’s for residency and fellowship. Working in Mike Brenner’s lab, Erika made a set of highly original observations regarding the role of cadherins in fibroblasts. In studies published in Science and PNAS, she showed that deficiency or blockade of cad 11 resulted in protection from mouse models of arthritis and also showed that ligation of this adhesion molecule leads to induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Apart from her translational science projects, Erika has a strong interest in teaching for which she has won awards at Harvard and is actively participating on ACR educational subcommittees. Erika will be based at South Lake Union but also see patients at the Roosevelt Bone and Joint Center.


Dr. Marat Gadzhiev: Dr. Gadzhiev completed his U.S. residency in internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He did a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado in Denver and a rheumatology fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Gadzhiev will split his time between the American Lake location and the Seattle VA. In addition to his clinical work, he will assume the educational and supervisory responsibilities for residents and fellows working at the VA.


UW Medicine Division of Rheumatology