James O’Dell,


Stokes Shackleford Distinguished Professor
Chief, Division of Rheumatology and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Founder and Director, Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigational Network
Omaha, NE

James O’Dell, MD, MACR, MACP, a Stokes-Shackleford Distinguished Professor, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Internal Medicine, has served as Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) for more than 30 years. He earned his medical degree and completed his internal medicine residency at the UNMC. He completed a clinical and research fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, and is board certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology.

Dr O’Dell is founder and director of the internationally recognized Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigational Network (RAIN), which is a collaboration of rheumatologists from 7 states who conduct investigator-initiated trials seeking improved treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Published extensively, Dr O’Dell been first author on 3 papers published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), most recently on “Therapies for Active Rheumatoid Arthritis After Methotrexate Failure.” This work received the 2014 Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Research from the Arthritis Foundation and was selected at the 2013 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) meeting as the clinical paper of the year. His research activity has centered on the development of large-scale, multicentered, nonindustrial clinical trials that are designed to answer clinically relevant therapeutic questions. Through a 1996 publication in NEJM, he popularized combination therapy for RA—now commonly referred to as “triple therapy.” He is also past co-editor of Arthritis & Rheumatology, and is a frequent presenter at national and international meetings. He is currently an editor of Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology and section editor of RA for UpToDate.

Active with the ACR Dr O’Dell has served on many committees, is past president of the Research and Education Foundation, and served as ACR president in 2011-2012. In addition, he has received numerous awards, including the University of Nebraska university-wide Outstanding Teacher Award, the Nebraska American College of Physicians (ACP) Laureate Award, and a Distinguished Scientist Award at UNMC. In 2008, he received the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine Career Research Award. He is also a Master of both the ACP and the ACR.