C. Kent Kwoh, MD

  • Director, University of Arizona Arthritis Center
  • Chief, Division of Rheumatology
  • Professor of Medicine and Medical Imaging
  • The Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Endowed Chair in Rheumatology

Dr. Kwoh is a Professor of Medicine and Medical Imaging in the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and holds the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Endowed Chair in Rheumatology. He serves as director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, a Center of Excellence in the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He was named to these positions in July 2013.

Dr. Kwoh received his bachelor’s degree in honors biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1975 and his medical degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 1979. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Hospitals in 1982 and a fellowship in rheumatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, N.H., in 1984. He also was a scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., from 1984 to 1986. 

Before coming to the University of Arizona, Dr. Kwoh was the Director of Clinical Research at the University of Pittsburgh Arthritis Institute as well as a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology from 2000 until 2013. Simultaneously, he held a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute while working as a staff physician in addition to being Rheumatology Section Chief in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare Systems.

Dr. Kwoh’s professional memberships include the Arthritis Foundation, where he serves on the Public Health Committee, and the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI), where he serves as a member of the OARSI Treatment Guidelines Committee. He was a member of the OARSI Publications Committee and the Steering Committee for the OARSI-FDA initiative for the revision of the guidance document for osteoarthritis. He is a founding fellow of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and has served on the board of directors for the ACR and the Rheumatology Research Foundation. He was a member of the National Arthritis Data Workgroup sponsored by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)—a unit of the National Institutes of Health, co-chair of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Working Group of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which developed quality measures for rheumatoid arthritis, and co-chair of the ACR Guideline Development Subcommittee for Guidelines on the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Currently, he serves on a Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the NIAMS and Rheumatology Field Advisory Committee for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also is a member of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Sex-differences (ISIS) Fund Network of the Society for Women’s Health Research and has been a grant reviewer for the National Health Research Institute, Taiwan; the Arthritis Society of Canada; the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Dr. Kwoh is the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific journal articles and book chapters. He has served on the editorial board of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and Arthritis Care and Research. He also is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other professional journals, including Arthritis and Rheumatism, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Journal of Rheumatology, Genetic Epidemiology, Arthritis Care and Research, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. Dr. Kwoh has been a speaker at numerous national and international meetings, including conferences in China, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Taiwan. 

His clinical interests include knee, hip and hand osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory back pain (spondyloarthritis) and lupus.

He is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology.

Research Interests: 

Dr. Kwoh’s research interests include outcome assessment and the examination of risk factors for the development and progression of a broad spectrum of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. His current work focuses on the identification of biomarkers – most notably MRI imaging biomarkers – for the development and/or progression of knee osteoarthritis and the characterization of knee pain patterns in osteoarthritis. Another line of research targets the elimination of ethnic/racial disparities in the care of patients with osteoarthritis. A third area of interest is the evaluation of state-of-the-art imaging techniques (for example, 3D imaging and thermography) to quantify inflammation in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. His research has been funded by grants from NIAMS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Arthritis Foundation and other organizations. He is a co-holder of three patents for a method using thermal, laser and other state-of-the-art imaging to assess the extent of arthritis in joints. Dr. Kwoh has mentored more than 30 trainees and junior faculty in the areas of epidemiology and health services research related to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. 

Research Project: Pilot Trial to Assess Low Intensity Ultrasound in Osteoarthritis 
Research Project: Knee Osteoarthritis & Clinical Outcomes Based on Imaging Biomarkers 
Researcher Spotlight

  • MD: University of Illinois - Chicago, 1979
  • BS: University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Honors Biology, 1975
Honors and Awards
  • The Northeast Region Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Award
  • Finalist - post-doctoral competition from the Society for Medical Decision Making
  • The University of Arizona Asian-American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award Winner
  • Internal Medicine, University of Illinois Hospitals, 1982
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Rheumatology
  • Yale University School of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar (Veteran's Administration)
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine - General
  • American Board of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology - Subspecialty