Einstein/Montefiore Department of Medicine

12/18/08: Vitamin D. Deficiency: The Immunological Consequences

Vitamin D. Deficiency: The Immunological Consequences

Einstein-Montefiore Department of Medicine Grand Rounds

Thursday, December 18, 2008

8:00 AM
First Floor Lecture Hall, Forchheimer/Einstein

12:15 PM
Cherkasky Auditorium/Montefiore Medical Center


John Hardin, MD
Professor, Departments of Medicine (Rheumatology), Surgery, and Microbiology & Immunology

Medical Grand Rounds this week is sponsored by the Division of Rheumatology and will be presented by John A. Hardin, MD, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and of Orthopedic Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center.

Dr. Hardin is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, and received postdoctoral training at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, the National Institutes of Health, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a member of the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine (1976-1991) and subsequently Professor and Chairman of the Departments of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia (1991-2000), and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2000-2002). He now serves as the Arthritis Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer where he is responsible for leading the Foundations Research Program that over the years has funded over $400 million dollars of arthritis related research and sponsored training for over 1200 postdoctoral fellows.

Dr. Hardin’s research interests have been focused on gaining an understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. With collaborators at Yale, Drs. Joan Steitz and Michael Lerner, he participated in studies that identified SNURPS (small nuclear ribonucleoprotein Particles) and SCURPS (small cytoplasmic nucleoprotein particles) as important targets for aberrant immune responses in patients with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Their efforts were recognized with the Arthritis Foundation’s first Lee Howley prize in 1984. After a sabbatical year in Cambridge, where he worked with Dr. Jean Thomas, he extended these studies to the role of chromatin as a dominant autoantigen in patients with lupus. These studies established the current concept that selected nucleoprotein particles selectively induce autoimmune responses as a central pathogenic event in lupus. His subsequent studies led to the initial description of the Ku autoantigen, which was subsequently identified by Drs William Dynan and Steve Jackson as the regulatory subunit of the DNA repair and recombination enzyme known as DNA dependent protein kinase. His current studies are focused on understanding how environmental factors such as vitamin D deficiency contribute to autoimmunity.

Through the years, Dr. Hardin has served in many roles at the NIH, the Arthritis Foundation, the American College of Rheumatology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. This year he was named a Master of the American College of Rheumatology.


After attending this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the high prevalence of severe vitamin D deficiency in the Bronx
  2. Become familiar with the role of vitamin D in the normal immune system
  3. Learn about the new finding of how vitamin D deficiency may impair immune regulation
  4. Become knowledgeable about vitamin D replacement in normal individuals and in patients with disease


Albert Einstein College of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 credit towards the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the educational activity.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

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