On many Saturday evenings, Kaleb Michaud, PhD, saves the world from pandemics, harvests barrels of coffee beans to sell at market or helps King Brandur recover the fabled Runic DragonStones.
Explore this issueMay 2017
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Dr. Michaud, an associate professor in the division of rheumatology and immunology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha and also co-director of the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, is a faithful, fervent, full-fledged gamer. Forget video games. His passion is playing more than 2,000 board and card games that he says combine fun with social interaction and exercise various parts of a person’s brain.
Dr. Michaud doesn’t quite know when this hobby started. Perhaps it was after graduating from Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.) in 2006 with a doctorate in physics. He moved to Omaha the following year to serve on UNMC’s research and teaching staff. As a way to meet people, he joined a small group of board gamers who met every week for potluck dinner and games.
“I realized there was a whole world of games out there that I had never seen before and really enjoyed,” says Dr. Michaud, who for more than 15 years has also worked with Dr. Frederick Wolfe, the founder and director of the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases and specialist in fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis research. “I think that’s when my passion really grew.”