Faculty Bio

James O’Dell, M.D.James O’Dell, M.D.
Stokes Shackleford Professor and Vice Chair, Internal Medicine
Chief 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

Education:
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 the Stokes Shackleford 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 31 years where he has directed the training of over 700 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 25 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 with three first authored NEJM papers on RA trials 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. The RACAT trial (NEJM 2013) won both the ACR Silver Fork award and the AF Howley Prize (most impactful arthritis research 2014). 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 (2011-2012).  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. Ryan W. Gan; Kevin D. Deane; Gary O. Zerbe; M Kristen Demoruelle; Michael H. Weisman; Jane H. Buckner; Peter K. Gregersen; Ted R. Mikuls; James R. O'Dell; Richard M. Keating; et al. Relationship between air pollution and positivity of RA-related autoantibodies in individuals without established RA: A report on SERA. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2013
  2. Aslibekyan S, Sha J, Redden DT, Moreland LW, O'Dell JR, Curtis JR, Mikuls TR, Reynolds RJ, Danila MI, Bridges SL. Gene-body mass index interactions are associated with methotrexate toxicity in rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 73 : 785-6. 2013
  3. Jeffrey R. Curtis; Theresa McVie; Ted R. Mikuls; Richard J. Reynolds; Iris Navarro-Millan; James O'Dell; Larry W. Moreland; S. Louis Bridges Jr.; Veena K. Ranganath; Stacey S. Cofield. Clinical response within 12 weeks as a predictor of future low disease activity in patients with early RA: Results from the TEAR trial. Journal of Rheumatology. 40 : 572-578. 2013
  4. Hughes-Austin JM, Deane KD, Derber LA, Kolfenbach JR, Zerbe GO, Sokolove J, Lahey LJ, Weisman MH, Buckner JH, Mikuls TR, O'Dell JR, Keating RM, Gregersen PK, Robinson WH, Holers VM, Norris JM. Multiple cytokines and chemokines are associated with rheumatoid arthritis-related autoimmunity in first-degree relatives without rheumatoid arthritis: Studies of the Aetiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis (SERA). Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 72 : 901-907. 2013
  5. Navarro-Millan I, Charles-Schoeman C, Yang S, Bathon JM, Bridges SL, Chen L, Cofield SS, Dell'Italia LJ, Moreland LW, O'Dell JR, Paulus HE, Curtis JR. Changes in lipoproteins associated with methotrexate or combination therapy in early rheumatoid arthritis: Results from the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis trial. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 65 : 1430-1438. 2013
  6. S. Aslibekyan; E.E. Brown; R.J. Reynolds; D.T. Redden; S. Morgan; J.E. Baggott; J. Sha; L.W. Moreland; J.R. O'Dell; J.R. Curtis; T.R. Mikuls; S.L. Bridges; D.K. Arnett. Genetic variants associated with methotrexate efficacy and toxicity in early rheumatoid arthritis: Results from the treatment of early aggressive rheumatoid arthritis trial. Pharmacogenomics Journal. 14 : 48-53. 2014
  7. Anand Dusad; Michael J. Duryee; Anita T. Shaw; Lynell W. Klassen; Daniel R. Anderson; Dong Wang; Ke Ren; Ellen M. Gravallese; James R. O'Dell; Ted R. Mikuls; Geoffrey M. Thiele. Induction of bone loss in DBA/1J mice immunized with citrullinated autologous mouse type II collagen in the absence of adjuvant. Immunologic Research. 58 : 51-60. 2014
  8. Stella Aslibekyan; Jin Sha; David T. Redden; Larry W. Moreland; James R. O'Dell; Jeffrey R. Curtis; Ted R. Mikuls; Richard J. Reynolds; Maria I. Danila; S. Louis Bridges. Gene-body mass index interactions are associated with methotrexate toxicity in rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 73 : 785-786. 2014
  9. Ted R. Mikuls; Jeffrey B. Payne; Fang Yu; Geoffrey M. Thiele; Richard J. Reynolds; Grant W. Cannon; Jeffrey Markt; David McGowan; Gail S. Kerr; Robert S. Redman; Andreas Reimold; Garth Griffiths; Mark Beatty; Shawneen M. Gonzalez; Debra A. Bergman; Bartlett C. Hamilton III; Alan R. Erickson; Jeremy Sokolove; William H. Robinson; Clay Walker; Fatiha Chandad; James R. O'Dell. Periodontitis and porphyromonas gingivalis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 66 : 1090-1100. 2014
  10. Manpreet K. Sethi; James R. O'Dell. Combination conventional DMARDs compared to biologicals: What is the evidence?. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 27 : 183-188. 2015
  11. Geoffrey M. Thiele; Michael J. Duryee; Daniel R. Anderson; Lynell W. Klassen; Stephen M. Mohring; Kathleen A. Young; Dathe Benissan-Messan; Harlan Sayles; Anand Dusad; Carlos D. Hunter; Jeremy Sokolove; William H. Robinson; James R. O'Dell; Anthony P. Nicholas; Dean J. Tuma; Ted R. Mikuls. Malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde adducts and anti-malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde antibodies in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 67 : 645-655. 2015