Rheumatology and Immunology

James O’Dell, M.D.

James O'Dell, M.D.Professor, Internal Medicine
Division of Rheumatology

Academic Office: 
MSB 55107
983025 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE  68198-3025

Practice Locations:
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha VA Medical Center

1974    B.S. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska
1977    M.D. University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha, NE
1981    Resident Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska College of Medicine
1981    Chief Resident   Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center
1983    Fellowship Rheumatology,  University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
1984    Research Fellow Rheumatology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Current Hospital and Academic Appointments:
Larson Professor of Medicine, UNMC 
Chief of Rheumatology, Omaha VAMC
Vice-Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine, UNMC
Professor of Internal Medicine, Omaha VAMC
Professor of Internal Medicine with tenure, UNMC
Chief, Division of Rheumatology, UNMC
Residency Program Director, Department of Internal Medicine, UNMC

Biographical Sketch:
James R. O’Dell, M.D. is Larson Professor of Internal Medicine, Vice-Chairman of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Section of Rheumatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha.  He also has served as Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program at UNMC for the last 27 years where he has directed the training of over 600 internal medicine residents. 

Dr. O’Dell received his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in electrical engineering.  He received his medical degree and completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.  Dr. O’Dell completed a clinical and research fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver in 1984 and is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.  Dr. O’Dell founded and has directed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigational Network (RAIN) for the last 20 years.  RAIN is a group of rheumatologists who conduct investigator-initiated trials to find better treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. This research network has pioneered the use of combinations of medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis, was one of the first groups to describe genetic factors that predict response to therapy, and has done extensive work with the use of minocycline in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  Dr O’Dell is the PI of the large multinational RA research study based at the VA through their cooperative studies program. This trial that also has NIH funding is comparative effectiveness research at its best in a double-blind placebo controlled randomized trial.

Dr. O’Dell has published extensively, mostly in the area of rheumatoid arthritis and  authored “Drug Therapy: Rheumatoid Arthritis” for the New England Journal of Medicine as well as the 2010 RA:Update for the Annual of Rheumatic Disease.  He has presented frequently at national and international meetings and has more than 100 published articles in top level rheumatology journals.  He has received many awards for teaching excellence, was recently honored with the Nebraska ACP Laureate Award and as a distinguished Scientist at UNMC. In 2008 he received the Department of Internal Medicine Career Research award.  He has served on numerous American College of Rheumatology (ACR) committees over the last 20 years including time on both the ACR and REF BOD as well as a two-year term as President of the Research and Education Foundation of the ACR, Chair of Cooperate Relations Committee and Chair of the Registry Committee and is currently President-Elect of the College.  Additionally, he recently served Co-editor of Arthritis and Rheumatism.

Research Interests/Current Research: 
Investigator-initiated clinical trials in RA
Clinical Trial Design
Predicting response to therapy in RA
The etiology of RA

Selected Publications/Current Publications:
1. McInnes IB, O’Dell JR.  State-of-the-art: rheumatoid arthritis.  Ann Rheum Dis 69:1898-1906, 2010
2. Feely M, O’Dell JR.  Update on the use of conventional DMARDs in the management of RA. Current Opinion    
Rheumatology 22:316-20, 2010.
3. Miriovsky BJ, Michaud K, Thiele GM, O’Dell JR, Cannon GW, Kerr G, Richards JS, Johnson D, Caplan L,
    Reimold A, Hooker R, Mikuls TR.  Anti-CCP antibody and rheumatoid factor concentrations predict greater
    disease activity in men with rheumatoid arthritis.  Ann Rheum Dis May 3, 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
4. O’Dell JR, McInnes I. Eds.  Best Practice and Research Clinical Rheumatology – Pharmacotherapy: concepts
    of pathogenesis and emerging treatments.  Elsevier Limited, Oxford, UK, Vol. 24 (4), August 2010.
5. Mikuls TR, Gould KA, Bynoté KK, Yu F, LeVan TD, Thiele GM, Michaud KD, O’Dell JR, Reimold AM, 
    Hooker R, Caplan L, Johnson DS, Kerr G, Richards JS, Cannon GW, Criswell LA, Noble JA, Bridges Jr, LS,
    Hughes L, Gregersen PK.  Anticitrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) in rheumatoid arthritis: influence of an
    interaction between HLA-DRB1 shared epitope and a deletion polymorphism in glutathione s-transferase in a
    cross-sectional study.  Arthritis Research and Therapy 12:R213, 2010.
6. Saag KG, Teng GG, Patkar NM, Anuntiyo J, Finney C, Curtis JR, Paulus HE, Mudano A, Pisu M, Elkins-
    Melton M, Outman R, Allison JJ, Almazor MS, Bridges Jr. SL, Chatham WW, Hochberg M, Maclean C,
    Mikuls T, Moreland LW, O’Dell J, Turkiewicz AM, Furst DE.  American College of Rheumatology 2008
    recommendations for the use of nonbiologic and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in rheumatoid
    arthritis. Arthritis Rheum (Arthritis Care & Research) 59:762-784, 2008. 
7. O’Dell JR.  Drug therapy: Therapeutic strategies for rheumatoid arthritis.  N Engl J Med 350:2591-2602,
8. O'Dell J, Leff R, Paulsen G, Haire C, Mallek J, Eckhoff PJ, Fernandez A, Blakely K, Wees S, Stoner J, 
    Hadley S, Felt J, Palmer W, Waytz P, Churchill M, Klassen L, Moore G. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with
    methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate and sulfasalazine, or a combination of all three. Arthritis
    Rheum 46, 1164 - 1170, 2002. 
9. O'Dell J, Haire C, Erikson N, Drymalski W, Palmer W, Eckhoff PJ, Garwood V, Maloley P, Klassen LW,
    Wees S, Klein H, Moore GF.   Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with methotrexate alone, sulfasalazine and
    hydroxchloroquine,or a combination of all three medications.  N Engl J Med 334:1287-1291, 1996.