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NIEHS Clinical Researchers Present Grand Rounds Lecture

By Eddy Ball
March 2010

Frederick Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
NIEHS Principal Investigator Fred Miller highlighted the role of ultraviolet exposures and photosensitivity in myositis. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Lisa Rider, M.D.
Rider, above, delivered the first half of the presentation with a discussion of the various types of myositis and attendent manifestations throughout the body. (Photo courtesy of Cure JM [Juvenile Myositis] Foundation)

NIEHS Environmental Autoimmunity Group ( Chief Frederick Miller, M.D., Ph.D.(, and Deputy Chief Lisa Rider, M.D., presented a Clinical Grant Rounds lecture on Feb. 24 at the Masur Auditorium on the NIH Campus in Bethesda. The presentation, "Phenotypes as Clues to Deciphering the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Myositis," was webcast ( NIEHS and is available for view at the NIH VideoCasting and Podcasting site ( NIEHS.

Myositis ( NIEHS causes inflammation of the skeletal muscles resulting in chronic muscle weakness, immune activation, and, in some types of myositis, skin rashes, functional disability, and cardiovascular involvement. The various types of myositis are among the approximately 80 conditions grouped as autoimmune diseases that occur when the body's immune system attacks healthy cells in the body.

Autoimmune diseases are especially challenging for physicians because the conditions are difficult to diagnose and treat. According to the presentation, there are no FDA-approved therapies for myositis, and there is a need for further research to refine diagnostic criteria for the various forms of the disease and better understand environmental and genetic factors involved in disease etiology and progression.

Miller and Rider are part of the NIEHS Clinical Research program. They lead a research team that is investigating autoimmune diseases at the NIH Clinical Research Center ( in Bethesda. Their current research interests include idiopathic inflammatory myopathies in adults and juveniles - dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis, and polymyositis; rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus); and systemic sclerosis (scleroderma).

Continuing Medical Education (CME) ( NIEHS activities offered by NIH as part of the Clinical Rounds series ( NIEHS are jointly sponsored in partnership with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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