Teresa Tarrant, M.D., an assistant professor of rheumatology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, recently received the school’s James W. Woods Junior Faculty Award.
The aim of the award is to support promising young members of the medical school’s clinical faculty early in their academic career. Tarrant will receive $3,000 that she can use to explore new ideas, new ways of teaching students, treating patients or investigating biological problems.
Etta Pisano, M.D., vice dean for academic affairs in the School of Medicine, said Tarrant demonstrates considerable skill in the clinical arena and embraces the teaching role enthusiastically. “She attends on the consult service, staffs the fellows in rheumatology and allergy clinics, and maintains her own clinic where she has been noted to have outstanding clinical acumen and is highly sought out,” Pisano said.
“In addition, she has initiated a weekly and popular journal club for fellows, she assists in recruiting MD-PhD candidates into our program, serves on dissertation committees, and is now working on a developing a seminar series for the new Inflammatory Diseases Institute,” Pisano said.
Tarrant graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in biology followed by medical school at the University of Florida, where she participated in the Howard Hughes Cloister Research Program for two years at the National Institutes of Health campus. She completed a residency and fellowship at Duke University and then came to UNC as a postdoctoral fellow. She was promoted to assistant professor and recruited to tenure track in 2007.
Tarrant’s research work includes examining the process of leukocyte migration into tissues through chemokine receptor signaling, a promising therapeutic target for patients with organ-specific inflammatory diseases including asthma, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis studies. She independently sparked collaborative research with the UNC Biomedical Research Imaging Center to test new nanomaterials for imagining of rheumatoid arthritis disease processes and has secured pilot funding to support this work. Her work is published in top tier immunology journals.
The Woods Award was established through the generosity of the late Dr. James Watson Woods, a cardiologist, who was a professor in the School of Medicine from 1953 to 1983. Woods was an acknowledged leader in the school with a distinguished record of clinical and educational service as well as scholarly productivity in the area of hypertension research that spanned from animal models to clinical trials.
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