Prof. Michael Holers University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA

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Dr. Holers graduated from Purdue University and Washington University School of Medicine. Following an internship and residency at Barnes Hospital, he was a Rheumatology Fellow at the University of Colorado and then a research postdoctoral fellow with John Atkinson at Washington University. After being appointed as Assistant Professor and then... read morepromoted to Associate Professor with tenure at Washington University, he was recruited in 1993 to the University of Colorado to be the first Smyth Professor of Rheumatology. In 2000 Dr. Holers became Division Head of Rheumatology and is currently Professor of Medicine and Immunology and the Scoville Professor of Rheumatology. The historical focus of the Holers’ Laboratory research efforts has been on the structure-function relationships and biologic roles of the complement system. In that regard, his laboratory performed the molecular genetic studies in which murine complement C3 receptors and membrane regulatory proteins were characterized, as well as the structure-function relationships of members of that family were defined. Using molecular genetic tools developed through these studies, the key in vivo roles of these proteins in the development of murine models of human disease was demonstrated. These studies were recognized by his receiving the singular 2008 American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Basic Investigator Award. From these studies, the Holers’ Laboratory also developed and then commercialized tissue-directed complement therapeutics that have demonstrated models substantial improvements in efficacy and safety over traditional strategies. 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. To accomplish this task, he co-founded SERA (Studies of the Etiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis), which is focused on mechanism-based and epidemiologic assessments of high-risk subject populations. These studies have provided strong evidence for a mucosal origin of RA-related autoimmunity prior to the development of clinically apparent arthritis. Dr. Holers also PI of an NIH Prevention Center Grant as well as an NIH Autoimmunity Center of Excellence wherein a novel RA prevention trial designated StopRA is being undertaken. In recognition of these and other efforts, Dr. Holers was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP).