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Dunlop Honored for Research In Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

Northwestern scientist promotes independence, quality of life for those with arthritis

CHICAGO --- Dorothy D. Dunlop, professor of medicine-rheumatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will receive an award for advancing knowledge concerning persons with or at higher risk for osteoarthritis.

Dunlop is also affiliated with the Center for Healthcare Studies in the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Feinberg. 

Dunlop will be awarded the ARHP Distinguished Scholar Award at the joint meetings of the American College of Rheumatology and American Rheumatology Health Professional (ARHP) Nov. 15. 

“I am honored and greatly value what the award represents,” said Dunlop, who, with Rowland Chang, M.D., co-directs the Physical Activity in Rheumatology Research Group at Feinberg.“ But this is a case in which I am recognized for work done by my research team. So, I would say that the true credit goes to this amazing group of people with whom I work each day.” 

Dunlop is a health services scientist whose applied research interests include the investigation of physical activity to promote independence among adults living with arthritis. Her research group pursues the goal of identifying strategies and designing interventions to improve the quality of life for persons with arthritis, a massive segment of the U.S. and world populations.

Throughout her 20-year career, Dunlop has focused her scientific work on promoting independence for people living with rheumatic diseases. By evaluating population data from government studies and assessing clinical information from the patients themselves, clinicians in partnership with methodologists can improve quality of life for people affected by chronic illness, she said.

Dunlop joined Northwestern in 1989 as a lecturer at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and became an associate professor of medicine at Feinberg in 2009. Among her many achievements, she is principal investigator of a national study that objectively measures physical activity via state-of-the-art accelerometers on more than 2000 participants in the Osteoarthritis Initiative.  In 2010, she became the director of the Chronic Disease Care and Outcomes Center, which aims to assess, understand and improve the systems of health care delivery and health outcomes for persons with chronic conditions including both adults and children.

Dunlop earned a master of health science from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in industrial engineering from Northwestern.