Scope of Things

In the Clinic: Second Wave Biomarker Tests for Osteoarthritis

June 6, 2023


Years after serving in the Vietnam War, Virginia Byers Kraus’s father had his hip replaced—three different times. Each time, she said, outcomes were worse. Joint replacement is often the result of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease commonly known as “wear and tear” arthritis. There are no disease-modifying drugs for osteoarthritis and early diagnosis is difficult. But even though the CDC estimates that nearly one in four people in the United States has osteoarthritis, Kraus rejects that idea that the disease—and resulting pain and surgical treatment—is inevitable. Her group at Duke is developing a proteomic panel of biomarkers that will be able to identify people with active disease before the evidence is visible on an MRI or X-ray.

Virginia Byers Kraus, Duke University
Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD, is the Mary Bernheim Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Pathology and a faculty member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute in the Duke University School of Medicine. She is a practicing Rheumatologist with over 30 years’ experience in musculoskeletal research focusing on osteoarthritis. She trained at Brown University (ScB 1979), Duke University (MD 1982, PhD 1993) and the Duke University School of Medicine (Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Rheumatology). Her career has focused on elucidating osteoarthritis pathogenesis and translational research into the discovery and validation of biomarkers for early osteoarthritis detection, prediction of progression, and monitoring of disease status. She is co-PI of the Foundation for NIH Biomarkers Consortium Osteoarthritis project.