In the first episode of the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) 2021 Virtual Congress series, we spoke with co-authors Jeffrey Sparks, MD, and Zachary Wallace, MD, about their research – the association between disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) use and COVID-19 outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – conducted on behalf of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance.
The study was presented by Dr Sparks and Dr Wallace at the EULAR 2021 meeting and has been published in BMJ.
Jeffrey A. Sparks, MD, MMSc, is an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.
He received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas, and completed residency in internal medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Following residency, he completed a fellowship in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received a Master of Medical Sciences degree in patient-oriented research from Harvard Medical School.
Dr Sparks’ research focuses on using patient-oriented and epidemiologic methods to evaluate the etiology, outcomes, and public health burden of RA. His studies have investigated pulmonary involvement as an initiation site for RA pathogenesis and clinical outcomes.
Dr Sparks’ was a founding member of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance and co-leads studies of rheumatic diseases and COVID-19 outcomes at Mass General Brigham. He has received research awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Rheumatology Research Foundation, and Brigham Research Institute.
Zachary Wallace, MD, MSc, is a rheumatologist and clinical epidemiology researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston. He conducts his research in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at The Mongan Institute at MGH.
Dr Wallace’s research has previously focused on long-term outcomes in multisystem rheumatic diseases, especially immunoglobulin (Ig) G4-related disease and antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. Since March 2020, he has co-led a research group at Mass General Brigham focused on understanding the impact of COVID-19 on patients with systemic rheumatic diseases.
Dr Wallace is also a member of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Steering Committee. His research has been funded by the NIH, the Rheumatology Research Foundation, the MGH Department of Medicine, and the Executive Committee on Research at MGH.