Announcements for 2003

December 2003 (historical)

NIAMS' Kastner Recognized by Arthritis Foundation for His Research

Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Genetics and Genomics Branch at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, was identified by the Arthritis Foundation as producing one of the top 10 research advances of 2003.

Dr. Kastner and his research fellow, Jae Jin Chae, Ph.D., established an important new finding about the protein pyrin: that it helps to shut down the inflammatory process in the normal response to infection. When the gene that produces pyrin has a certain mutation, the body does not get the proper signals to shut down the inflammatory response. This finding, published in the March issue of Molecular Cell, has implications for the possible role of genetics in the development of arthritis, and supports the theory that some rheumatic and inflammatory diseases begin when individuals with genetic susceptibility encounter certain types of infection.

The "Top Ten" list, announced via teleconference December 3, was developed in consultation with clinicians and scientists as well as with the American College of Rheumatology, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.